In the early '90s, these EB-5-funded projects were very practical, like building infrastructure and developing areas around closed military bases... There were a lot of projects like this and there are still some. But when the last recession took hold, developers had to look elsewhere to finance their projects.
[C]ities are places that are about people [and officials focus on how immigrants contribute to their communities; Governors are concerned about] what they see as a threat to their population as a whole and are interested in applying pressure to the Obama administration to help change that.
With that kind of attention [over the regional-center program], it seems like more people are making the case to change the TEA provisions of the [EB-5] program... [On the other hand,] in the past we’ve seen that it’s been easiest to just continue the program as-is.
Places that have been losing population see refugees as a resource... They often see these groups as a way to add to their population, labor force, and communities in ways that combat the population loss they've had over time.