Victorville councilwoman unaware of USCIS investigation
A council member in the California city that may be stripped of its EB-5 regional center designation had no idea that federal officials were questioning the undertaking until she read about it in the Sunday paper.
JoAnn Almond was unaware that the city of Victorville, California, was sent an “intent to terminate” notice by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regarding its EB-5 regional center, according to the Victorville Daily Press. The city received the notice over two months ago, on May 4.
Almond sees this as an example of the growing communication gap that exists between city lawmakers.
“I’m tired of it,” she told the news source.
Other city officials appeared to have blamed Almond for not knowing about the issue.
“I knew about it because I ask about it every week,” Mayor Pro Tem Mike Rothschild said. “So if somebody doesn’t know something, it’s their problem.”
The city formed an EB-5 regional center last year, but the developer it entrusted to secure funding was unable to meet expectations, prompting the investigation by the USCIS.
The EB-5 visa program allows foreign nationals to become U.S. green card eligible if they invest $1 million (or in some regions $500,000) in an American business and that investment creates 10 jobs. EB-5 regional centers manage and direct these investments.
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