On Thursday, February 14, 2019, the United States House and Senate passed funding legislation re-authorizing vital immigration programs including the EB-5 Regional Center Program through September 30. The omnibus measure, titled HJ Res 31, spans over 1,000 pages and contemplates many governmental functions. Notably, the EB-5 Regional Center Program (as well as E-Verify, Special Immigrant Religious Workers, and Conrad 30) are extended as follows in Division H, Section 104 of the bill:
DIVISION H—EXTENSIONS, TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS, AND OTHER MATTERS
Sec. 104. Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) shall be applied by substituting “September 30, 2019” for “September 30, 2015”.
While HJ Res 31 contemplates funding for increased border fencing, it does not authorize construction of a 2,000-mile plus physical wall. Earlier today President Trump signed a declaration of a “national emergency” to divert otherwise appropriated funds towards wall construction. This move is highly controversial and of dubious constitutional legitimacy. Nevertheless, the maneuver should put to rest the spectre of political disagreement over a border wall causing a government shutdown for the immediate future.