Outsourcing is not the only way we are losing American jobs to Communist China. The Chinese have figured out how to capture jobs inside the U.S. by using our EB-5 visas (employment-based, fifth priority).
Most Americans have never heard of this visa, but the Chinese are now planning to use it to build and run a casino labeled Maryland Live! near the Baltimore airport. Boasting 3,750 slot machines, this $440 million casino will be one of the largest in the country.
Failing to attract enough U.S. investors for this big-time gambling center, the promoters went to Shanghai in September and made a sales pitch to 50 rich Chinese to invest $500,000 each in this Maryland casino, which seems to offer a profitable return. The sweetest part of the deal, however, is that the investor's entire family will be rewarded with a set of U.S. green cards valid for life, a system called "investment immigration."
EB-5 visas were created to promote investment in depressed areas, but the area isn't depressed and Maryland's unemployment rate is about 2 percentage points lower than the nation's. Skillful gerrymandering produced a map to label a parking lot in the huge Arundel Mills Mall a "targeted unemployment area."
Don't count on the Maryland casino to produce good jobs for Americans. If the Chinese follow the pattern they used in building the San-Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, low-paid Chinese workers will be imported to build and staff the casino.
To qualify for EB-5 visas, each investor need create only 10 jobs, and they can be "indirectly created," whatever that means. And the investment can be withdrawn after only 24 months.
Another EB-5 case involved a dairy farm in South Dakota. It created some jobs, but 16 of the 17 regular employees turned out to be illegal aliens. Maybe milking cows wasn't an exciting occupation for Chinese families rich enough to make a $500,000 investment.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, backed up by the U.S. and Idaho Departments of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, traveled to China last year to sell the Chinese on the idea of using EB-5 visas to invest in Idaho. Otter is calling the EB-5 visa a "key element" of his effort to attract new foreign investment to Idaho.
China is trying to build a 10,000- to 30,000-acre "technology zone" south of the Boise airport with full landing rights to the Boise airport, including industry, retail centers and homes leased to the Chinese. This project will have a manufacturing and warehouse zone tied to the airport and may expand with building and financing a fertilizer plant near American Falls, Idaho.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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