EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 - Page 60

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY ROBERT DIVINE ATTORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE R obert C. Divine chairs the immigration group of Baker Donelson with offices in 24 U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C. He served from 2004 through 2006 as the chief counsel and for a time, the acting director of USCIS. Divine is the author of “Immigration Practice,” a 1,600-page practical treatise on all aspects of U.S. immigration law. He served for seven years as a vice president of IIUSA, an industry association for EB-5 regional centers. He represents EB-5 developers, regional centers and individual foreign investors, balances immigration and securities considerations, and litigates when necessary. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE EB-5 INDUSTRY CHANGE FOR A BETTER FUTURE? Congress must amend the law to protect all investors from expiration of the regional center authorization. Congress has failed to make the regional center law permanent, instead extending it in increasingly tiny increments of time over the past CHARLES FOSTER 29 years. Everyone must wait years to get USCIS adjudication, and investors born in China must wait a decade or more for visa numbers, which means they must live through numerous possible expirations of the law. While actual expiration (and denial of everyone waiting) is unlikely, it is unreasonable for the United States to attract needed investment without providing more assurance. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WHEN IT COMES TO EB-5 LITIGATION OR ADVOCACY? Investors are frustrated with their lack of choice when it comes to redeployment of their capital when the original project has repaid the NCE and they wait to finish their immigration processing. Some have threatened or even brought litigation. NCE managers should explore providing options for investors with different emphasis on risk, liquidity, etc. Prospective investors should evaluate redeployment procedures and commitments in offering documents. ATTORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE C harles Foster is the chairman of the Houston-based Foster LLP and leads the firm’s EB-5 practice group. For more than 30 years, Foster has represented multinational businesses in the field of immigration law and has been board-certified as a specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law since 1979. Foster has represented individual EB-5 investors since the program’s inception in 1990, and regional centers since 1992. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE EB-5 INDUSTRY CHANGE FOR A BETTER FUTURE? The EB-5 industry and practice can have a better future only if Congress increases EB-5 visa numbers directly by adding substantially more numbers, or indirectly by not counting dependent family members and recapturing unused numbers as provided in President Biden's U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. 60 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WHEN IT COMES TO EB-5 LITIGATION OR ADVOCACY? Expanding litigation and advocacy has become even more important during the pandemic with the ever-increasing backlogs in the adjudication of I-526 and I-829 petitions, and given the June 30, 2021 sunset of EB-5 Regional Center program and need for Congress to extend it for a longer period of time, and to provide greater investor protection as well.