The Bill – Investors must put up $1 million for a visa, but if they invest in a rural area or one with high unemployment, that is reduced to $500,000. Based on a deal forged by Leahy it was in stasis because President Bush said it was “riddled with corruption”. As soon Barack Obama came into office, he must have said it was good because it was full of corruption.
Development is good, but not at the risk of letting jihadists buy their access into the USA.
The detestable and despicable Patrick Leahy (picture right) has Visas For Sale – Our Founding forefathers did not want to create an elitist society. The truth is, that is just what the left want, a society were workers and makers provide for them and the users and takers. USA, it is truly time to put our foot down. Unfathomable that Leahy could be a successor to the obama “throne” after Biden and Boehner as president pro tem.
We think that there may be more than is openly shared about Mr. Leahy’s finances as well. Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org – The Center for Responsive Politics, Leahy’s net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $49,007 and $210,000. That averages to $129,503.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.00.
By Caleb Kenna for The New York Times
He is expanding the Jay Peak ski resort, which he co-owns, but he is also building a biomedical research firm and a window manufacturing plant, extending the runway at the local airport and rehabilitating much of the nearby town of Newport, where he lives. There, he is developing the waterfront, adding the town’s first hotel and a conference center and rebuilding an entire downtown block. He is also creating what he says is the largest indoor mountain bike park in the world and a state-of-the art tennis center.
The price tag for the entire project, which Mr. Stenger says will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over several years, is $865 million.
But even more unusual than the size of the undertaking is the method by which Mr. Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, are financing it. They have tapped into a federal program that gives green cards, or permanent residency, to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business — the reward for the investment is a chance at United States citizenship.
Mr. Stenger has already attracted 550 foreign investors from 60 countries to put up $275 million for the first phase: a hotel here at the Jay Peak ski complex, an indoor water park the size of a football field, an ice hockey arena, condominiums, restaurants and stores.
The second and third phases, now under way, require 1,000 additional foreign investors to put up $500 million to overhaul Newport and to develop the nearby Burke Mountain ski area.
Mr. Stenger and Mr. Quiros are putting up $90 million themselves. But even at $785 million, this is one of the single biggest projects in the country financed under the investor program.
Congress created the visa program in 1990 to help stimulate the economy. Because of a cumbersome process and complaints of fraud and corruption, it was long underused.
But a confluence of events in recent years has led to its rather sudden revival: the program was improved; the financial crisis of 2008 made it hard for developers to get loans from commercial banks; and foreign nationals, especially in China, were accumulating vast wealth and were eager for their children to study and live in the United States.
In 2006, the government issued just 802 of these EB-5 visas to investors and their families; this year, it granted 7,818.
The program is now growing so rapidly that in the next year or two the number issued will probably reach the annual limit of 10,000. For the first time in the program’s history, applicants may be turned away.
Mr. Stenger, 64, who began his career as a ski instructor, and Mr. Quiros, 56, who spent years in the import-export business and already owned thousands of acres here, began leveraging the visa program five years ago, in the early stages of its revival. Along with state officials, who monitor and audit their projects, and Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Democrat who has championed the program in Washington, the two men have sought to make Jay Peak a national showcase for the investor program.
Mr. Quiros said these projects would have been impossible without it.
“It’s too hard to get money of this magnitude,” he said, “especially with the economic situation that exists today.”
The immigrant investors do not have to get involved in the business, though it must create or save at least 10 jobs, and they can live anywhere they want.
One potential investor in Jay Peak is Steve Green, 49, an Englishman who has had a successful career in banking and reinsurance and has lived in Bermuda for 25 years.
“The reason to explore this and potentially to do it — and I’m more than 50-50 inclined to do it — is that it would give me an opportunity to relocate in the United States, keep a small home in Bermuda, spend the majority of my retirement in the United States and confer those rights on my children,” he said in a telephone interview from Bermuda.
Mr. Green said his hesitation about investing here stemmed from uncertainty over what kind of financial return he would get. “There is a substantial risk that you don’t get anything back,” he said.
Investors must put up $1 million for a visa, but if they invest in a rural area or one with high unemployment, that is reduced to $500,000.