Congressional letter says it seems firm fell short on jobs requirement for EB-5 funding at Dream Hotel in Hollywood
Representative Lou Correa, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, today wrote to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asking the agency to investigate whether hotel developer Relevant Group is creating jobs as promised connected to funding it received from the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
Correa was joined by Representatives Alan Lowenthal, Salud Carbajal, Grace Napolitano, Greg Stanton, Jimmy Gomez, Norma Torres, Julia Brownley, Tony Cardenas, Nanette Diaz Barragan, Linda Sanchez, Mike Levin, Brad Sherman, Ted Lieu, Katie Porter and Judy Chu.
Correa said, "The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a great opportunity for job creation across our country. As we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, economic investments and job creation are needed. That is why major investors should not have the opportunity to take advantage of the program and should be held accountable when they are not meeting the job creation and economic development requirements they agreed to.”
The EB-5 program makes immigrants eligible for Green Cards if they invest $1,000,0000, or $500,000 in a rural area or an area of high unemployment, in a U.S. commercial enterprise and “plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.”
“Relevant Group received millions from wealthy investors through the EB-5 program while hotel workers struggle to navigate our broken immigration system,” said UNITE HERE Local 11 Co-President Kurt Petersen. “We need to ensure developers like Relevant are creating jobs as promised, and we need comprehensive immigration reform now more than ever.”
According to marketing materials for Relevant Hospitality Fund 1, the Relevant Group raised more than $250 million in Chinese capital to finance a major hotel and entertainment development in Hollywood, California through the EB-5 program. The fund listed the Dream Hotel, Selma Hotel, Thompson Hotel and Citizen News as existing assets and included the Schrader Hotel and Hotel Barclay in the fund’s portfolio.
One of the Relevant Group’s co-founders said that the $110 million Dream Hotel relied on funding from 180 “mostly high-net-worth” Chinese investors. If each of the 180 investors is an EB-5 participant, the Dream Hotel itself would have to create 1,800 jobs to abide by USCIS rules.
The letter cites jobs estimates for the Dream Hotel reported in press accounts and states that “None of these figures comes close to the 1,800 job requirement.”
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.
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