The White House has just confirmed a meeting with AVS team members in Washington next week to get the Regional Center's input regarding the pending EB-5 modernization regulations. After hearing from the largest EB-5 Regional Centers operating primarily in Manhattan and relying on gerrymandered census tracts to circumvent what Congress intented when they created the concept of "TEA", AVS will be giving officials a very different perspective from what the rest of the well-financed industry has been proposing.
When Congress created the EB-5 category back in 1990, the whole idea was to invite foreign investors to procure US residency by investing in poor and rural areas. That's why the law today STILL reflects a $1M investment threshold for projects located in NON-TEA areas. But through census data manipulation, 100% of the projects in America's wealthiest cities claim TEA status, and take investors at the $500,000 threshold.
After 8 years of proven success in EB-5 and the dramatic econonic transformation resulting from AVS RC's projects in rural South Florida, we believe that:
- The TEA cheating MUST stop immediately so that investors can fairly decide whether to invest $500K in a TRUE TEA or invest $1M in a NYC highrise...it's time to level the playing field.
- Despite repeated SEC sanctions against both US attorneys receiving "finders fees" and Regional Centers paying prohibited fees both in the US and abroad, the ENTIRE industry continues to ignore this rule. It is time for the SEC to step up enforcement and make everyone find investors the way AVS does: via unpaid referrals from folks whose trust we have earned, be they attorneys, realtors, or our own satisified investors.
- Big EB-5 wants a $100,000 difference between TEA and non-TEA projects, now that they won't be able to fake TEA status. But Congress wanted legitimate TEA investors to pay HALF of what they would elsewhere. True TEA projests like those offered by AVS represent a tiny percentage of the EB-5 market and whatever the new investment amounts are raised to, legitimate TEA investors should be investing 50% of what they would in a non-TEA project.
EB-5 was clearly created by Congress to stimulate foreign direct investment in America's poorest areas, not to subsidize the capital costs of multibillion dollar developers. Time to fix this mess once and for all!