EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 62

TOP AT TORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS BERNARD WOLFSDORF ATTORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE B ernard Wolfsdorf is a State Bar of California Certified Specialist in Immigration Law and former president of AILA, where he earned the Service Excellence award. Wolfsdorf is managing partner of WR Immigration, a Chambers USA Band 1 (California) top rated law firm with offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Shanghai. Wolfsdorf has been selected as Immigration Lawyer of the Year by WWL and by Best Lawyers U.S. News and World Report. EB5 Investors Magazine has named him in its ranking for the fifth time. Chambers USA describes him as “(o)ne of the hardest-working immigration lawyers around.” HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE EB-5 INDUSTRY CHANGE FOR A BETTER FUTURE? The EB-5 industry has been impacted by the failure of Congress to do its job. The program is plagued with slow adjudications, and long waiting lines such that investors are losing hope. Despite having brought in billions of critical dollars that have spurred growth and development in so many areas, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs, Congress will not act to provide a permanent program with sufficient visa numbers to meet the urgent need if investors. It makes no sense to require an investor to commit their capital and then wait years for a green card. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WHEN IT COMES TO EB-5 LITIGATION OR ADVOCACY? It is sad that investors must resort to litigation to get adjudication but with the USCIS latest publication of adjudication times, investors are saying “enough is enough” and the courts are being sympathetic in large part to the plight of investors. In terms of advocacy, I am concerned many are throwing their weight behind Grassley’s bill that does nothing to solve the problem other than add more bureaucracy to an already poorly-managed program. We need legislation that is bold and provides relief for those stuck in long waiting lines and ensures adequate and competent resources to adjudicate this program. STEVE YALE-LOEHR ATTORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE S teve Yale-Loehr is an Attorney of Counsel in Miller Mayer’s Immigration practice group. He brings more than 35 years of immigration law experience to bear in advising corporate and individual clients on a broad array of family- and employment-based immigration matters. He teaches immigration and asylum law at Cornell Law School as a Professor of Immigration Practice. He also founded and was the original executive director of Invest in the USA (IIUSA). He is listed in Who’s Who in America and is annually listed in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and An International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as one of the world’s best immigration lawyers. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE EB-5 INDUSTRY CHANGE FOR A BETTER FUTURE? First, the EB-5 industry must actively lobby the U.S. Congress for EB-5 reauthorization. Short-term reauthorizations don’t give potential investors confidence to invest; a long-term 62 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE reauthorization of several years would. Second, the EB-5 industry should push USCIS to clarify key issues, such as what constitutes an acceptable redeployment. Third, the EB-5 industry should persuade USCIS to hold quarterly stakeholder calls with EB-5 experts so that emerging issues and trends can be discussed and resolved before they become major problems. Fourth, the EB-5 industry should work with USCIS to shorten adjudication times. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WHEN IT COMES TO EB-5 LITIGATION OR ADVOCACY? Because USCIS adjudication times are so long and because USCIS requests for additional evidence and denials continue to increase, EB-5 litigation is becoming more necessary. Finding a law firm that has EB-5 litigation experience is important. Advocacy on behalf of your EB-5 clients is also important. State Department consular offices are slowly opening up, but attorneys need to be aggressive to make sure their EB-5 clients are scheduled appropriately. Advocacy at the USCIS level is also important, as long-pending cases can slip through the cracks. A good EB-5 lawyer knows all the ways to advocate for clients.