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The House quietly passed a bill on December 3 to crack open a backdoor route for wealthy Chinese to buy their way into U.S. citizenship by lending money to the U.S. real estate industry.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) portrayed the bill as a boost to trade between the United States and Portugal. But the bill allows wealthy Chinese to get into the United States after first buying Portuguese citizenship.
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“Congress is getting duped. … [The bill is] creating a new path for Chinese people,” said one Capitol Hill source.
Wealthy Chinese can buy “golden visa” citizenship from Portugal’s government in as little as 35 days. If House bill H.R. 565 is approved by the Senate and becomes law, then the new Chinese citizens of Portugal will be able to move into the U.S. by getting E-1 Treaty Trader or E-2 Treaty Investor renewable visas.
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Cicilline’s office declined to comment to Breitbart News.
The bill may have a lot of hidden support in the Senate because it could provide a band-aid fix for the backlogged EB-5 program.
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The EB-5 program allows wealthy foreigners to buy green cards by lending money to U.S. businesses, mostly to real estate investors. But the money inflow has shrunk because immigration law seeks to promote diversity among immigrants by capping the annual share of EB-5 green cards that can be bought by people from each country, such as China or India. This “country cap” rule means that new Chinese EB-5 buyers must wait more than ten years to get delivery of their backlogged green cards.
This delay is making it difficult for real estate groups to sell the EB-5 visa to Chinese lenders. The same backlog problem is also hindering the sale of green cards to wealthy Indians. Lobbyists for the EB-5 “Regional Centers” and the real estate industry are trying to kill...
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