Coburn letter

The buzz this week has been over a letter sent by U.S. Senator Tom A. Coburn (R. Oklahoma) to all Regional Centers with content as follows:

As Ranking member of the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight over the Department of Homeland Security, I am writing to learn more about ___ Regional Center’s participation in the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Every Regional Center approved by USCIS will receive a similar request to help the Committee better understand the EB-5 program. To understand more about ___ Regional Center, please provide the following information by March 13, 2014 in an electronic format:

  • Any approval from USCIS to participate in the EB-5 program regarding the regional center and its business plan, including any subsequent recertification;
  • The total annual amount of investment and the number of individuals by country of origin making investments through the regional center since it has been in operation;
  • The name, address, and a description of each business in which the regional center has made an investment of funds and the number of jobs created by each investment;
  • Any fees charged to EB-5 applicants or received by the regional center, including amount and description;
  • A list of any current or former corporate officers of the regional center, including title, position, and dates of employment, and
  • The name and address of any individual or entity- either foreign or domestic- that the regional center has an agreement with to provide legal, accounting, recruiting or consulting services, as well as a description of the service provided.

Feelings are mixed about this. It’s nice to see Congressional concern and attention, and I’m a long-time advocate of transparency about Regional Center backers. But one wonders why Senator Coburn decided to circumvent USCIS, which implemented the I-924a annual reporting process to collect similar information from Regional Centers to report to stakeholders such as Congress. Also, what Senator Coburn, not being a well-known friend of immigration, intends to do with the responses he receives. IIUSA has referred its members to two relevant articles: “MINORITY RULES: WHY COMPANIES SHOULD TAKE SERIOUSLY THE INCREASING TREND OF MINORITY PARTY-LED CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS” by Steven R. Ross, Raphael A. Prober, and Megan L. Greer, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and A Client’s Guide to Congressional Investigations Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Also see Ron Klasko’s post on this topic.

About Suzanne (
Lucid Professional Writing provides writing and editing services for businesses and scholars, and specializes in assisting clients to prepare business plans for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

One Response to Coburn letter

  1. Thom Casebolt says:

    Lets call it as it is. It is obviously not a positive sign of how certain politicians view EB-5. The question I have is where is the pro EB-5 Lobbying effort? Also, I can’t help but wonder, who else is with Sen. Coburn on this?

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