Mike Madriaga 11:30 a.m., Aug. 19
Senate immigration bill strengthens green card financing
Manchester's Austin hotel raising Chinese capital through EB-5 program
The immigration reform bill recently passed by the United States Senate permanently authorizes and in other ways strengthens the EB-5 program, a method for foreign investment to come into the U.S. EB-5 was originally passed in 1990 and has been extended in subsequent votes. It permits a foreign family to get permanent U.S. residency (green card) by investing $500,000 in the U.S. economy. Recently, EB-5 financing has heavily gone into American hotels, which have not been the favorites of domestic financial institutions. China is a major source of EB-5 capital.
The Texas Urban Triangle Regional Center recently took a trip to China to drum up more EB-5 investment money. Among the most prominent EB-5 investments in this triangle is the 1000-room, $350 million Fairmont Austin Hotel, being built by Manchester Texas Financial Group, a wing of the hotel financing empire of San Diego's Papa Doug Manchester. This month, his son Douglas Manchester, who heads the Austin project, touted it to potential investors in China.
Of course, the immigration reform bill still must go through the House, where it faces considerable Republican opposition.