EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 65

[ IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS ] Robert Divine got his start in EB-5 early, but actually refused several prospective EB-5 investor clients in the 1990s, because the projects they wanted did not seem to qualify. Years later, in 2004, Robert was asked by the White House to become chief counsel of USCIS, where he went to become acting director and play a part in revamping the program with a commitment to eliminating smoke and mirrors and a focus on re-grounding EB-5 in reality. After departing the government in 2007, Robert returned to his former role as shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., a law firm of almost 700 attorneys in 20 offices, including Washington, D.C. Robert was asked to help several large EB-5 developers address some problematic USCIS program interpretations, and he successfully advocated to USCIS for the “exemplar” project approval process and several other improvements. When he represents immigrant investors, Robert puts himself in the shoes of the adjudicator to provide a filing that is clear and easy for those assessing it to understand and approve. At the same time, he is aware of the degree to which policy and legal issues in the EB-5 realm remain unresolved, and finds it particularly frustrating to advise clients on how to conduct their business within the law when it is difficult know what the law really is. He reminds his clients that EB-5 regulations can undergo unpredictable cycles and, accordingly, handles With a background in global business immigration and real estate, and an interest in investment visas, it is only natural that Ignacio Donoso began working on EB-5 cases seven years ago. As a managing member of I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC, based in Bethesda, Maryland, Ignacio oversees a team of 10 professionals who primarily focus on EB-5 immigration matters. Throughout his career, Ignacio has successfully represented a number of regional centers, but now specializes in representing investors. Ignacio finds the benefits of working in EB-5 to be twofold. For one, he has the opportunity to help extraordinarily talented and hardworking individuals pursue their dreams in the United States. At the same time, EB-5 allows him to participate in the creation of U.S. jobs. He recently visited an EB-5 project site with his team and was rewarded with the sight of a bustling construction crew building a structure from the ground-up. It is this appreciation of what EB-5 can accomplish, and what is required to meet that objective, that makes Ignacio such a respected attorney in the industry. Indeed, Ignacio ensures that every client he works with understands the risks involved in EB-5, is provided with the proper tools to evaluate those risks, and is advised on whether the project will achieve their immigration goals. Since he first ventured into EB-5, Ignacio has found that a growing stability in the program’s legal rules has enabled project devel- Robert Divine their cases with foresight and discretion. Robert appreciates EB-5 work for the way it brings together aspects of the entire legal spectrum. In his industry and client service roles, Robert strives to enhance the level of integrity and transparency from all sides. In addition to helping developers strategize about organizing large business enterprises and securities offerings, Robert enjoys collaborating with lawyers across firms and disciplines to effectuate successful EB-5 cases and the continued growth of the program. He has been elected vice president of IIUSA five times. Ignacio Donoso opers and investors to better comprehend compliance with the requirements of the program. Not only has Ignacio proven effective in handling EB-5 matters, but he is also quite happy in the industry, which results in a high-level of responsiveness and dedication to his clients. This is evident in the fact that, for several years, Ignacio has been selected by his peers to serve on the AILA International EB-5 Committee with other leading immigration attorneys in the EB-5 industry. Through his work on the committee, he has alerted the EB-5 community to certain trends and fluctuations in the program, allowing for greater compliance success. WWW.EB5INVESTORS.COM 63