China City

The latest EB-5 investor visa controversy is based on the idea of building an all-Chinese residential and commercial development, China City of America (CCOA), about a 90-minute drive northwest of New York City. It would be largely financed by funds from immigrant investors, each of whom, in turn, would get a set of green cards for their half-million-dollar checks. In addition to the usual critical comments about shaky financial prospects and dubious job-creation claims, which so often accompany EB-5 proposals, this one also has generated adverse reactions because of a project budget bordering on the bizarre, its ecological impact on a pristine rural area, the apparently ignored need to secure environmental permits from state authorities, the controversial land-development records of two of the proposal’s (non-Chinese) local allies, and a charge from within the Chinese community that China City is a stalking horse for the Chinese communist government in Beijing.

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