[HOT] TEA designation and gerrymandering


From many of USCIS' statements, it seems to frown upon "gerrymandering" when it comes to TEA designation. But why should that be? First, it should be noted that the word "gerrymandering" in context of politics gives an impression that there is an unfair advantage gained by one party by redrawing areas to favor the party, but in context of TEA designation, this "gerrymandering" act basically comes down to trying to create a TEA area that encompasses where the project is located so that only $500,000 is required rather than $1 Million USD.

One EB-5 colleague says:

Gerrymandering is a fundamental part of American culture and it's been done in America since the 18th century. If USCIS/CSC hates it, they should change the criterio for TEA designation . . .

And I agree with him.

Really, not only does the EB-5 law not prohibit gerrymandering, why should USCIS care or want to delve into this matter? Maybe USCIS thinks that such gerrymandering does not serve the fundamental purpose of the EB-5 Program? But the question becomes: what is the true purpose of the EB-5 Program? It seems to me that the purpose of EB-5 Program is to create jobs through EB-5 investors' capital investment in a new commercial enterprise, no? Doesn't gerrymandering of TEA help to accomplish this purpose, while hyper technical requirements hinder the job creation? So who's better serving the purpose of the EB-5 Program? Does USCIS want to encourage or discourage investments?

Let's keep in mind that the EB-5 Program was brought into existence by politicians who are experts in gerrymandering; a strong argument can be made that they darn well knew and foresaw that there would be gerrymandering. Politicians can gerrymander but business persons cannot?

If USCIS wants to make the TEA gerrymandering illegal, all they have to do is require $600,000 USD investment in any EB-5 projects, regardless of the location. That will do the trick.