With a vote of 68-32 the Senate today approved a 1,200 page bill that will change the U.S. immigration laws for the first time since 1986. EB5investors.com applauds the Senate and in particular the efforts of the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” Senators who crafted the legislation. The bill promises to make many beneficial improvements to the EB-5 program, such as those outlined in this blog by attorney Jennifer Hermansky, including increasing the quota number and eliminating per country quotas. Senator Patrick Leahy a longtime proponent of the EB-5 program and author of an amendment to the bill noted “Today is another historic day in the Senate…This legislation will…spur job growth and reduce our deficit.” The bill now heads to the House of Representatives where it is expected to be fiercely debated. Join EB5investors.com for the July 15th Conference featuring leader of the House Judiciary Committee Representative Goodlatte as well as Congressman Rohrbacher, Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for an insider’s view of the Immigration Debate and input on what a House version of the bill would look like.
Earlier, this week the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The SCOTUS decision to strike down part of DOMA is a major victory for same sex couples, especially for same sex couples seeking immigration benefits for a spouse including under the EB-5 program. Until now, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not extend immigration benefits to same sex couples. Today, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas speaking at in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) confirmed that given the decision, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can now petition for same sex spouses to obtain permanent residence in the US. Additionally, the US Consulates abroad can issue dependent visas to a same sex spouse who wishes to accompany his or her spouse to the U.S. as a non-immigrant during the pendency of their EB-5 application.