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New York, NY — U.S. Senate nominee Wendy Long, the nominee of the New York Republican, Conservative, and Reform parties, today said:

“Chuck Schumer is King of ‘Pay to Play’ in the corrupt, rigged system of Washington, D.C. Today’s example is how he exploits immigration law for wealthy real estate developers through the EB-5 visa program, which allows investors to pay $500,000 in exchange for a green card, in return for plenty of campaign cash given back to him.

“The whole idea behind the EB-5 visa was to help create jobs in economically disadvantaged areas. But where big bucks are involved, corruption soon follows, and with Chuck Schumer and the EB-5 visa program, you need to follow the money.

“Schumer claims that putting the development projects in ‘poor people areas … won’t happen.’

“This is an arrogant and offensive statement. Small businesses are struggling in what Schumer calls ‘poor people areas.’ Schumer’s benefactors don’t need the help because they’re developing some of the most valuable real estate in the world. This is a moment for honest liberal Democrats to insist that Schumer stop writing off the poor while filling his campaign coffers from well-connected big corporations, wealthy foreigners, and lobbyists.”

“As Senator Patrick Leahy has correctly observed, the gerrymandered Schumer use of EB-5s benefits wealthy Manhattan condo projects, many of which ‘would be pursued regardless of EB-5, calling into question whether the EB-5 capital is creating any jobs at all’.”

Schumer received $1.09 million in campaign donations since 2011 from real estate interests, and his #3 top donor source was Fragomen, a law firm that has a prominent EB-5 practice, which donated $82,200 to his campaign committee. Fragomen advertises itself as “support[ing] . . . [the] immigration needs’ of ‘the world’s largest companies . . . all over the world’.”

Schumer also rakes in campaign dollars from real estate companies such as Related Companies and Silverstein Properties, which also raise EB-5 funds.

“The immigration laws of the United States should not be used to buy and sell political favors,” said Long. “I would end the EB-5 program altogether if we cannot establish that it can be used only to bring development to impoverished places where it otherwise truly would not occur under normal American market forces. In midtown and downtown Manhattan, that is clearly not the case.”