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The United States Conference of Mayors conference hosted their 83rd Annual Meeting on June 19-22, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The EB-5 immigration investor program was included in the adopted resolutions of the organization as listed herein:

EB-5 IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM

WHEREAS, EB-5 is the designation for the fifth employment-based preference immigrant visa category established by Congress in 1990; and

WHEREAS, Congress established the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program in 1992 to create Regional Centers which aid foreign investors, by directing and professionally managing their investments while concentrating pooled investments in defined distressed economic zones; and

WHEREAS, EB-5 allocates 10,000 visas annually to foreign investors and their families who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a target employment area) which must generate at least 10 jobs; and

WHEREAS, EB-5 has become a vital source of urban redevelopment funds; and

WHEREAS, since 2008 over $8.6 billion has been invested in qualified American projects; and

WHEREAS, that investment has supported over 171,000 American jobs; and

WHEREAS, over 200 additional regional centers were approved in Fiscal Year 2014 alone; and

WHEREAS, currently there are over 13,000 pending applications for EB-5 related visas, representing $6.5 billion in potential direct investment and 130,000 jobs; and

WHEREAS, the EB-5 Program had record-breaking capital formation in FY2014 and Q1-2015 with $2.5+ billion and $826 million in foreign direct investment respectively; and

WHEREAS, in 2012 Congress passed legislation to reauthorize the Regional Center Program, with a unanimous vote in the Senate and a vote of 412-3 in the House; and

WHEREAS, mayors are working with private parties to use EB-5 foreign direct investment to finance job creating projects and downtown revitalization projects; and

WHEREAS, without Congressional action the EB-5 Program will sunset on September 30, 2015; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to include a robust EB-5 Program through legislation including additional visas, ensuring that any reform of the EB-5 Program maintains the ability to deliver job-creating capital to urban areas, permanent authorization of the Regional Center Program, and streamlined approvals for all applications.

Projected Cost: None

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.