Akerman Senterfitt Bridges Alliances between U.S. Conference of Mayors and IIUSA with Resolution Urging Congress to Enhance EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

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Political Allies Push for Availability of Capital Funds for U.S. Real Estate Development

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"This is the second consecutive year that Akerman has actively served as the liaison between the Conference of Mayors and IIUSA,” said Richard Spees, chair of Akerman’s Government Affairs & Public Policy Practice Group.

Akerman Senterfitt has brought together two nationally distinguished groups devoted to U.S. economic development policy, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors and IIUSA (Association to Invest In the USA), with a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to enhance the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution at its 81st annual meeting on Monday urging Congress to expand a robust EB-5 program in the pending federal immigration bill; a program that has become a vital source of urban redevelopment funds, contributing over $4.7 billion toward American projects and creating nearly 95,000 jobs since 2005, at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. An enhanced program would include additional visas, permanent authorization of the regional center program, and a streamlined approval process. Titled EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the resolution was submitted by Mayor Stephen Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, at the request of Akerman and CapSpan, a New York-based financing, project sourcing, and investment management firm that focuses on high-quality EB-5 projects nationally.

IIUSA, a trade association for the federally-designated EB-5 Regional Centers approved to serve as the conduits of foreign direct investment and regional economic development, endorsed the resolution and echoed similar policy issues impacting international investment and economic development at its 3rd annual EB-5 Forum. The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting and IIUSA Forum overlapped this weekend in Las Vegas, Nev.

To encourage more discussion on the EB-5 program and even greater collaboration in shaping federal legislation, mayors from across the nation and representatives with IIUSA gathered during a dinner event hosted by Akerman and CapSpan on Thursday, June 20, 2013. The dinner provided a platform for chief elected officials, business leaders and industry think-tanks to build a coalition focused on safeguarding the EB-5 program as a continued source of economic funding.

"This is the second consecutive year that Akerman has actively served as the liaison between the Conference of Mayors and IIUSA,” said Richard Spees, chair of Akerman’s Government Affairs & Public Policy Practice Group and office managing shareholder of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. “As a result, these two groups have grown as strong political allies in transforming EB-5 legislation and the availability of capital funds for U.S. real estate development. Many of Akerman's real estate development clients have directly benefited from this alliance.”

During last year’s Conference, Akerman and CapSpan worked with local mayors to develop a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation that would permanently authorize the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. The effort was measured as a success when legislators passed a three year reauthorization of the EB-5 program in September 2012.

"The EB-5 program has been a source of billions of dollars in funding to U.S. businesses since its inception in 1990,” said K. David Andersson, president of IIUSA. “Foreign capital has been invested in regional economic development projects throughout the United States, creating thousands of jobs and repairing our infrastructure while also contributing to the economic recovery of this country. The resolution encourages a more efficient and permanent program capable of supporting an even greater volume of funds.”

About Akerman Senterfitt
Akerman is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 550 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 19 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the U.S. by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2013). Akerman also is ranked among the top 100 law firms for diversity by MultiCultural Law magazine (2012) and recognized as the Law Firm of the Year for Diversity – South by Benchmark Litigation (2012). More information can be found at akerman.com or twitter.com/akerman_law.

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Marlisa Serrano
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