Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Green Cards for the Rich; Jail for the Poor

Patrick Williams of the Dallas Observer has written a relatively short juxtaposition of his city's crackdown on immigrant day-laborers with a program he read about in the Dallas Morning News, which will sell green cards and the promise of permanent residency to rich people for a $500,000 or a million dollar investment.

To be honest, I had never heard of this new federal program, most likely because if Dallas is approved, they'll be the first locality to implement it on such a large scale.

The nuts and bolts appear to be that a foreign citizen would apply to the program; The feds will check them out and make sure, both they and their money are clean. Then, the immigrant wannabe will invest either $500k or $1 million with the "City of Dallas Regional Center", who will turn it over to a fund management firm called "Civitas".

Civitas will invest the funds into an approved project; A million dollar investment could be applied to any part of the city, while those providing half a mil must invest in an area with high unemployment and every investment of either amount has to create at least ten jobs.

Right now, the city is shopping about a dozen unidentified projects and local developers are chomping at the bit to add more.

And there seems to be a tremendous amount of interest among potential investors from China, South America and Mexico, hundreds have been prescreened, which leads the city to hope for a net of $50 million in 2010, $150 million in 2011.

While back on the day-labor corner, cops are making arrests.
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