Secretive Alien Millionaires File EB-5 Class Action Case

Usually when you think of a class action suit it's a bunch of little guys, like individual stockholders or workers suing big corporations. (Disclosure: my stepdaughter lawyer files such cases for disabled people.)

It is usually a segment of the 99 percent suing a segment of the 1 percent, often in an attempt to make matters more transparent and to strip away secrecy.

Ah, but then there is Zhang v. USCIS, which is totally different from the usual class action case in that the fat cats are doing the suing and they want less, not more transparency.

It has been filed by multi-millionaire aliens wanting to buy green cards, and wanting to do so without fully disclosing the source of the moneys they plan to use in the EB-5 program. The case is in the federal courts for the District of Columbia and is noted as 1:15-cv-00995 in the PACER filing system.

The case was filed by Huashan Zhang of Xi'an City, China, and Masayuki Hagiwara of Kanagawa, Japan.

In both cases the aliens want to fund their EB-5 investments with borrowed money and USCIS said "no", unless the applicants showed what assets of their own they plan on using to back up (collateralize) that loan. The plaintiffs want the agency to look no further than the cash at hand when making their decisions as to the bona fides of the money that is being used in the EB-5 program.

It strikes me that if the government is going to sell visas it should be able to demand that the money really belongs to the alien, and that the government should be able to ask searching questions about where it came from. The law says that aliens cannot use money obtained in unlawful ways for the EB-5 investments.

In this case, the lawyers for USCIS are wearing the white hats — may they prevail!

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