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CMB Response to USCIS posting of Regional Center records

USCIS recently published (and subsequently removed) a set of documents listing approved and denied Forms I-526 and Forms I-829 by regional center.  Unfortunately, USCIS did not provide the context and clarity necessary to differentiate a number of critical elements.  CMB believes the published numbers were an attempt by the USCIS for clarity within the industry, however, it is essential to not only provide accurate information (which can be found below), but to also seek clarity from USCIS as to their methodology and data sources.

The USCIS reports acknowledge that petitions are denied for various reasons including those not related to the project.  The reports also state that USCIS makes no claims to completeness, timeliness or accuracy of the information provided.  What is most lacking, however, is that they have provided no clarification on what constitutes a denial.

As a leading regional center with decades of experience, we have worked with investors whose experiences don’t fit the approved/denied mold.  I would encourage USCIS to consider the following circumstances (among many others) and provide the necessary clarity:

Although USCIS has provided the industry with much appreciated data, they now must provide the clarity and context necessary to interpret the data.  Further, I would encourage USCIS to separate out project-related denials and petitioner-related denials.

In CMB’s history, we have never had a single project-related denial at either the I-526 or the I-829 stage of adjudication.  We have had investors receive denials at the I-526 for a wide variety of reasons, but never related to the underlying project.  Regrettably, after over 600 approved I-829s without a single request for evidence, we have had one investor denied at the I-829 stage for non-project-related reasons, but they are actively appealing the decision.

CMB will be reporting what we see as inaccurate information to USCIS, but we recognize the importance in also disseminating the information to our network of agencies, clients, attorneys and prospective clients.  Below you will find charts of the approvals and denials of individual petitioners participating in an EB-5 limited partnerships in our various regional centers.  Included in this list is Liberty Nebraska Regional Center, which has been changed to CMB Nebraska Regional Center.

CMB I-526 Adjudications by Regional Centers Comparison (January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017)

Regional Center I-526 Approval I-526 Denial
USCIS Records CMB Records USCIS Records CMB Records
CMB Export 2294 1886 109 24
CMB Illinois 48 48 5 2
CMB Pennsylvania 185 210 3 0
CMB Southeast 23 24 1 0
CMB Summit 113 83 20 2
CMB Texas 282 370 8 3
Liberty/CMB Nebraska 23 14 1 0
Totals 2968 2635 147 31

 

CMB I-829 Adjudications by Regional Centers Comparison (January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017

Regional Center I-829 Approvals I-829 Denials
USCIS Records CMB Records USCIS Records CMB Records
CMB Export 566 524 2 0

 

The above tables represent a comparison between the data presented by USCIS, and that tracked by CMB internally.  In addition to the information presented above, CMB has three separate partnership which have been fully managed by CMB, but (due to geographic scope concerns) are submitted under another regional center.  Each of those projects have received I-526 approvals but not yet received I-829 adjudications.  In each instance the regional center used was active with their own projects, so a comparison would be inaccurate for that reason.  Although a direct comparison would be inaccurate, for transparency we have also shown those records below.

CMB-managed I-526 Adjudications by Regional Center Comparison (January, 2014 to May, 2017)

Regional Center I-526 Approvals I-526 Denials
USCIS Records CMB Records USCIS Records CMB Records
North Dakota 55 147 3 0
Tennessee 71 87 27 0
Texas 111 60 6 0
Totals 237 294 36 0

 

The inconsistencies outlined above and the lack of clarity on definitions and methodology have essentially created a set of data which are unusable for any meaningful analysis.  As CMB has always suggested in the past, I would encourage our clients and their representatives to continue to ask hard questions and demand proven answers.  USCIS has presented their data with the understanding that it may be incomplete, untimely and inaccurate.  On the other hand, the CMB website provides information which has been verified by a nationally recognized firm (BKD), a third-party auditing firm for both financials and EB-5 statistics.  Where USCIS, and many of our competitors, have been unable to provide proven answers, CMB has taken very seriously the importance of giving verified information.

We appreciate the effort on the part of USCIS and look forward to continued transparency within the industry.

Patrick F. Hogan

CEO

CMB Regional Centers