WGVU donate banner

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FacebookFlickrTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn
 
Public Media Catagories
PBS Link Create Link WorldView Link NPR Link Real Oldies Link wgvu
onetime sustainer
All Things Considered
WGVU Top Story

Visas for sale: Not everyone’s a fan of Gov. Snyder’s EB-5 center


www.eb-5lawyers.com

June 11, 2014 | MPRN   Silverio emigrated from Mexico in the early ‘80s. He says there were many reasons for settling down and starting a business in Detroit.

“The properties were cheap, the rent was cheaper, plus we had family here already,” he said through Antonio, who translated from Spanish.

The Lopez family exemplifies the kind of people Gov. Snyder hopes to attract to Michigan - people with an entrepreneurial spirit who can create jobs.

But some critics of the governor’s new EB-5 visa program say it’s a slap in the face to immigrants like Silverio Lopez, who came here with nothing. Under EB-5, foreign investors must have at least $500,000 to put into a development project that creates at least ten jobs. In turn, that investor and his or her immediate family can all get visas to live or travel anywhere in the United States.

“We’re just letting somebody in simply because they have money,” said David North, a senior fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies – a think-tank in Washington DC.

“You can buy your way in,” said North. “All you have to do is put up half-a-million dollars. That’s sort of part of the system by which the elite get what they want and the rest of us get what’s left.”

The governor’s office has touted Michigan’s statewide EB-5 center as only the second of its kind in the county – the other being in Vermont. But that’s not accurate.

A third program in South Dakota has been riddled with controversy after investors’ money went missing, some visas were never issued, and the flagship development project failed miserably. But state officials say those aren’t issues with the EB-5 program itself. They’re problems with the people who oversaw South Dakota’s program.

“We’re well prepared to do this kind of investment,” said Scott Woosley, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which runs Michigan’s EB-5 center. “And I think that’s really what differentiates us from something that happened in South Dakota.”

Woosley says the state’s not interested in getting into a debate about whether it’s appropriate for immigrants to be able to buy their way into the US. He says it’s a no-brainer for the state to take advantage of a program that can attract investment and talent to Michigan and create jobs. Back in Southwest Detroit, Antonio Lopez says if the state really wants to boost its economy, it should focus on attracting poor immigrants like his father.

“Eventually, these people don’t want to work hard labor their whole lives,” said Lopez. “They want to start their own business, do something for their families. So I think, the poorly educated person that comes to work the hard labor, they’re actually going to work harder for their goal.”

This story is the first in Michigan Public Radio’s occasional series “Migrating to Michigan.”

We will explore Gov. Rick Snyder’s efforts to attract immigrants, as well as issues facing immigrants living or wishing to live here in Michigan.
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

More Mid-Day Features
Yesterday
The Hobbit: Battle Of 5 Armies rules the box-office
  December 19, 2014  |  WGVU  The Hobbit: Battle Of 5 Armies opened earlier in the week to big numbers at the box-office. Today four new movies screening, including the latest ANNIE, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, WILD and THE BABADOOK...WGVU breaks it all down with Ron Van Timmeran from Celebration Cinema for the final movie talk of 2014   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Wednesday
Invasive snail a fatal threat to Great Lakes waterfowl
  December 17, 2014  |  WGVU  The spread of a new invasive snail from Europe, the Faucet snail, is showing up along the Lake Michigan shoreline. How did it get here and how can scientists remove it?   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Tuesday
Innovation Talk
  December 16, 2014  |  WGVU  Michigan continues its investment in innovation growth. How can entreprenuers receive funding?   
Christmas In New York and Get Christmas Started two new holiday albums
  December 16, 2014  |  WGVU  Two new CDs of Christmas music approach the genre from two different styles. Classical singer Renee Fleming returns to her jazz roots for Christmas In New York and soul singer Marilyn Scott presents an album of R&B Christmas songs in Get Christmas Started.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Friday
It's Christmas On Mack Ave. celebrates the holiday season
  December 12, 2014  |  WGVU  Christmas music is all around us during this holiday season. Christmas jazz is heard nightly on WGVU FM, including a new CD from the Detroit based Mack Avenue label...   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Exodus: Gods And Kings opens in theaters along with two other films
  December 12, 2014  |  WGVU  Three movies opening today, including Exodus: God's & Kings, the Chris Rock comedy Top Five and The Houseman, directed by Tommy Lee Jones. WGVU breaks it all down with Ron Van Timmeran from Celebration Cinema.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Thursday
Jazz artist Greg Abate has a new CD out "Motif."
  December 11, 2014  |  WGVU  Virtuoso saxophone and flute musician Greg Abate has released a new CD on the Whaling City Sound label "Motif." It's standard Abate, with original tunes that swing with infectious melodies. WGVU has this feature interview.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

radio
Listen Live to WGVU-AM
Listen Live to WGVU-FM
Follow us on Twitter
WGVU News Page Sponsored by:
Amtrak
 
 
Home    Privacy Policies    Contact WGVU    GVSU.edu    PBS.org    NPR.org
Copyright 1997-2014 | WGVU is a service of Grand Valley State University | GVSU is an EO/AA institution