Host Ray Suarez and guest panelists Algernon Austin, Marcos Vilar and Juan Carlos Benitez discuss why job creation remains low.
The recipient of a juris doctor, Juan Carlos Benitez has had a long history in public service, focusing on immigration, economic development, and social educational programs. As president of Marianas EB-5 Regional Center, Juan Carlos Benitez assists foreign nationals in navigating the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
The EB-5 program was established in 1990 to help grow the US economy with foreign capital. The program grants lawful permanent residence to immigrant investors who invest either $1 million in commercial projects anywhere in the country or $500,000 in a “targeted employment area,” and in the process create or preserve at least 10 US jobs. The program has had a significant impact on the US economy since its inception, as highlighted in a 2015 report by Bipartisanpolicy.org.
As of 2015, the program had brought in a minimum of $4.2 billion in foreign investment. These figures are conservative, however, as they were based only on total investors actually granted permanent residency. Including investors initially approved for conditional residency, total foreign investment was about $11.5 billion.
The report also revealed the program’s positive impact on GDP and tax revenues. In 2013 the program contributed $3.5 billion to the US GDP, creating over 41,000 jobs and generating over $805 million in tax revenues for federal and state governments.
An accomplished attorney and business leader, Juan Carlos Benitez serves as president of the Washington Pacific Economic Development Group, which works to identify and access federal funding to support various projects. In addition to practicing in Washington, DC, Juan Carlos Benitez works in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. He maintains membership in several organizations, including the Puerto Rican Bar Association.
The Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA) was established in 1957 with the mission of providing personal and professional support to Puerto Rican and Latino attorneys. In addition to representing the interests of practicing attorneys, it raises money for law students through the PRBA Scholarship Fund.
Since the fund was launched in 1978, more than $400,000 in scholarships has been awarded to deserving law students attending accredited law schools in New York State. The scholarships are awarded based on scholastic achievement, community involvement, and financial need. To raise money in support of its Scholarship Fund, PRBA accepts financial contributions from members and corporate sponsors and holds an annual gala.
In 2017, the gala will take place October 20 at Chelsea Piers in New York City. The event will celebrate PRBA’s 60th anniversary with an evening featuring dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. Money raised through tickets, sponsorships, and auction sales will support the PRBA Scholarship Fund. More information about the black-tie affair can be found at www.prbany.com.
A graduate of the Inter-American School of Law, Juan Carlos Benitez serves as president and chairman of the board of the Latte Training Academy, Inc. located in Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands. Juan Carlos Benitez belongs to numerous professional organizations, one of which includes the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
The AILA is a national association that represents attorney and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. With more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors, the AILA is a non-profit organization that gives members opportunities for continuing legal education and professional services. Since its inception in 1946, the AILA has grown to include 39 chapters and more than 50 national committees.
Each year, the AILA hosts a conference that focuses on immigration law. The 2017 conference occurred from June 21 through 24 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nearly 100 exhibitors shared their latest tools and services and attendees learned about changes made by the new federal administration in regards to immigration law. They also had a chance to earn continuing legal education credit by attending several of the more than 140 sessions offered. The 2018 conference is scheduled for June 13 through 18 in San Francisco, California.v