Fact Checking Our Congresswoman: The Truth About EB-5

Press Release

Date: Sept. 2, 2014
Location: East Moline, IL

It's not everyday you see a congressional candidate go into full blown meltdown mode, but Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) is reaching that point with her recent attacks against Bobby Schilling (R-Colona), CMB Regional Centers in Rock Island, and the EB-5 job creation program.

Congresswoman Bustos previously supported the EB-5 program--she co-sponsored H.R. 15 earlier this year, a bill that would make the EB-5 program permanent--but due to her utter lack of accomplishment during her first term in Congress, she is now attacking the very program she supported in a desperate effort to win an election.

It's hard to believe a word Congresswoman Bustos says these days. While she's quick to take a shot at Bobby Schilling in a campaign speech by saying that EB-5 is somehow "gaming the immigration system," she then couches that position to reporters by saying she wants to review EB-5 but ultimately keep the program. And don't forget, she co-sponsored a bill to make the program permanent. What is she telling local mayors and stakeholders in the community who see huge job creation potential in the EB-5 program?

It's time for Congresswoman Bustos to talk specifics. Is she alleging fraud and abuse at CMB Regional Centers? CMB Regional Centers has a 100 percent success rate. The incident of fraud in Chicago had nothing to do with Bobby Schilling or CMB Regional Centers, and Congresswoman Bustos knows that. It did, however, have a lot to do with Senator Dick Durbin.

Why did she co-sponsor legislation to make the EB-5 program permanent? There are many immigration bills in Congress, and if she truly opposed EB-5, she could have found a bill without the provision making EB-5 permanent. It's also hard for Cheri Bustos to make the case that there is no perfect bill, as Bustos voted against the United States adopting a budget six times in 2013. She essentially voted for a government shutdown because of her pursuit of a perfect bill, despite four of those six budgets being introduced by fellow Democrats.

Congresswoman Bustos needs to either come forward with specific allegations about bad practices at CMB Regional Centers, or she needs to quit slandering a local business that has helped to create more than 90,000 new American jobs and add $7 billion in economic activity to rural and high unemployment areas in the United States. And if Congresswoman Bustos is going to continue to falsely claim that the EB-5 program sells visas and sends jobs overseas, why in the world did she co-sponsor legislation making it permanent?

Bobby Schilling released the following statement:

"Congresswoman Bustos is willing to do anything to get elected. She's broken promise after promise, and now she's attacking me and a reputable Quad Cities employer personally because she thinks it will help her win an election. Congresswoman Bustos has done so little in office that she feels the need to resort to mean-spirited attacks that are not only false, but damaging to the reputation of one of the most efficient and effective job creation programs in the country. This is shameful behavior from a sitting Congresswoman and we deserve better."