After a tumultuous 2020, the EB-5 community is in need of some good news. Thankfully, there is good news to report, as President Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, was officially confirmed by the Senate on February 2, 2021. Mayorkas’s family immigrated to the United States from Cuba when he was still an infant. He served in positions under both the Clinton and Obama administrations and has a stellar resume as a lawyer. Anyone involved with an EB-5 investment will be pleased to learn that Mayorkas was previously in charge of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he helped promote and improve the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
The confirmation faced some minor challenges, with a small group of Republican senators rejecting the speedy confirmation and requesting a more thorough and intensive background check. This opposition ultimately failed when a number of Republicans voted in line with the Democrats to continue with the speedy confirmation. A week later, the Senate held a vote and confirmed Mayorkas as the new secretary of the DHS.
If Mayorkas’s track record is any indication of what is to come, it is likely that he will act in favor of the EB-5 program in his new role. As secretary of the DHS, Mayorkas will oversee the USCIS, along with the agency’s various programs, which puts him in the perfect position to issue positive changes for EB-5 investment participants. Additionally, President Biden has also proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which he hopes to use to revamp the United States’ immigration system. The pro-immigration stance of the Biden administration, paired with Mayorkas’s experience with the EB-5 program, should offer hope and reassurance to anyone involved with an EB5 investment.
Mayorkas’s confirmation could also prove extremely beneficial to anyone involved with an EB-5 regional center. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is set to expire on June 30, 2021, and since it is no longer included in the year-end government funding bill, it is now more than ever a possibility that the program may not be reauthorized. For the EB-5 Regional Center Program to continue to function and help foreign nationals complete successful EB5 investments, significant reform must take place. Mayorkas could be exactly what EB-5 regional centers need to achieve permanent authorization and meaningful reform.