Investor-Visa Door Opens Wider Under Trump

America’s troubled investor-visa program is getting a surprising and distressing lift from the Trump administration. Instead of tighter vetting of foreign nationals seeking green cards, more applicants are gaining entry into the U.S. via the so-called “golden visa.”

Compared with the Obama era, denials of EB-5 applications have dropped from 15.3 percent to 7.9 percent, according to new analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies.

This is a troubling trend for anyone concerned about the integrity of our immigration system. FAIR, along with multiple media outlets, has reported on the national security and fraud implications of the EB-5 program. The Obama administration set a low standard for admission; it’s alarming that the bar may be going even lower.

Increased approvals of EB-5 visas for foreign nationals who effectively buy their way into the country merely invite more mischief.

EB-5 was launched in 1990 as a pilot program to spur foreign investment in the U.S. Its track record has been dismal: For every $100 of foreign investment in this country, EB-5 accounts for one penny.

It’s still early, though. Approval-denial data are only available for the first nine months of the current administration.

Whatever Trump appointees do, or don’t do, to take administrative control of EB-5, Congress must get serious about strengthening the accountability and performance requirements of the program it created.

In a letter to the president last week, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asserted that EB-5 is “riddled with fraud and serious vulnerabilities that present real national security concerns” and has strayed far from its intended purpose.

If EB-5 cannot be mended, it must be ended.

About Author


Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar

    Very disappointing; actually sad that Trump, who promised us immigration enforcement, would be worse than Bathhouse Barry in ANY area of immigration law.