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Monday, April 25, 2011

Homer's new rubes: guys who want green cards

Now Portland's crown prince of public pork is tapping into the federal immigration system for nine figures to play with. If that guy ever builds anything without a government scam angle, please give us a call.

Comments (17)

How low can Homer and the US go? Selling citizenship from $500 thousand to $1 Million and 10 jobs. Disgusting. Homer and Mark Edlen are the epitome of the ultimate opportunists. And to top it off they are getting free and cheap money to help build it at taxpayer expense.

Deep breaths, Le. A green card isn't a passport. This visa program has been around for decades. Foreign investment money for projects that provide jobs.

So why don't they do that to fund the detention center? Sustainability at it's best!

Allan L, a green card for three to five years gives you citizenship. And the percentage of green card holders becoming US citizens is very high.

lw:How low can Homer and the US go?

Low, very low.

It's just drug money coming back across the border.

"Williams & Dame has been an active developer in Los Angeles. The firm and its long-time partner Gerding Edlen Development Co. constructed the Evo, Luma and Elleven residential projects in the South Park area."

You forgot to give props to Homer's good buddies at G-E.

I don't really get what the heck Homer/G-E has over these less than creative pols, but it must be good, they keep comin' back for more.

"The program allows immigrants to secure green cards in exchange for investing at least $1 million in new commercial projects that will boost the domestic economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs in the U.S. In some instances, the minimum investment is $500,000."

What a joke. I highly doubt that they can ever prove with any measure of reliability that these investments result in "x" number of so-called permanent jobs. It all just reminds of So-What and the purported 10,000 bio-tech jobs that it was supposed to create. I say if we are going to start selling out at least make it something more meaningful like $10 million. Don't forget, they are "investing" the money which means they are supposed to get it all back, plus a return.

Usual Kevin, good point: they get their $500,000 to $1 Million back PLUS "return"/interest. I even wonder if taxpayers are obligated for the "return", and what amount.

So US citizens end up paying foreigners to become citizens. How absurd.

Agricultural Age
Industrial Age
Information Age
Absurdity Age

"Selling citizenship from $500 thousand to $1 Million and 10 jobs."

Hey, be happy they are paying something/anything to be here legally.

Steve, you're not getting it. They aren't "paying", they are lending the money and then getting it back and more in interest or more; all besides potential citizenship. And then we (U.S.) is being selective (discriminatory) by offering only those able to loan $500,000 to $1 Million this program. That's even adds to the absurdity. Where's the ACLU on that?

lw, the "Regional Centers" that seek out these foreign investors are privately owned. It's those owners who are responsible for any return on investment to the foreign investors. Critics of the program are skeptical that it creates as many jobs as claimed, but I've yet to see an argument that it doesn't pump at least some money into the U.S. economy. And, FYI, every industrial major country on Earth has a program like this. We're all competing for investment capital. It's what drives growth.

Pete, Homer's project is part of LA live around Staples Arena, which is substantially supported by tax breaks that have been supposedly capped at $60.5 Million plus parking taxes. It's another famous private/public partnership in LA, like Portland's South Waterfront Partnership.

Homer has been involved in Tucson with similar private/public partnerships. In Tucson over $215 Million has been spent on Rio Neuvo, essentially another taxpayer funded urban renewal zone (Convention Center Hotel), and nothing has been accomplished for the $215 Million. The state legislator is looking into corruption charges of misappropriations with nothing accomplished-just a little planning.

So calling these endeavors "privately owned" as you've done is not really true. Taxpayers are invested too, besides this federal immigration program. Sure, we can argue that we need all these taxpayer funded incentive to accomplish building even a toilet, but how much do we have to give, and when will it end?

Like here, taxpayers of LA have complained about all the tax dollars going to support hotels, Homers three apartment towers, and all the rest.

Point taken, lw. My point was just to make it clear that even though EB-5 can result in a green card for the investor and family, the federal government is not on the hook to return the investment principal with interest. The program itself costs the federal government nothing. But you are correct that many of these projects, like seemingly all projects, involve tax breaks. Of course, whether a tax break constitutes "taxpayer funding" is an interesting argument for another time....

Pete, to clarify, the $60.5 Million is direct taxpayer contributions to LA live, not "tax breaks". That is on top of the $60.5 Million. And there are federal tax dollars being contributed additionally.

Like SoWhat, the $289 Million TIF (urban renewal dollars) becomes over $1.1 Billion including debt cost, fed and state contributions and all kinds of grants like the recent fed grant to help relocate the recent SW Moody and trolley line completed just 3 years ago. LA live probably in full accounting gets close to three-quarter $Billion in taxpayer dollars.

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