This is a seriously risky proposition. All foreign investors are not created equal. Giving residents of a hostile Communist country like China permanent residency in the U.S. in exchange for money is disgusting! Nothing like buying your way into our country. Public private partnerships (P3) are a threat to our sovereignty over our own public infrastructure, but this takes even a P3 to new heights.
Chinese investors to fund I-95 interchange in exchange for U.S. residency
By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission not only has gone outside the box, but has gone outside the country to find funding for a new interchange with I-95. Turnpike officials are capitalizing on a law that allows Chinese investors to fund half of the project cost in exchange for permanent-residency visas from the U.S. government.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was enacted by Congress in 1990 and is overseen by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. It allows foreign investors to chip in at least $500,000 for U.S. projects of regional significance in exchange for residency.
In 2012, the Turnpike Commission paid $50,000 to study whether EB-5 financing would be a viable option.
The commission signed an agreement with the Delaware Valley Regional Center to attract up to $250 million in EB-5 financing. The DVRC successfully applied to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service to be designated as an EB-5 regional center – one of the stipulations for attracting foreign investment.
The mainline Pennsylvania Turnpike is designated as I-276 in Bristol County. Interstate 95 currently passes over the turnpike in Northeast Philadelphia with no interchange. Officials have been planning an interchange there for years.
The first $150 million to jumpstart the project came from the Federal Highway Administration and the Turnpike Commission. It is being used to widen four miles of the Turnpike in Bristol County and to lay groundwork for three new bridges and piers for future ramps. According to officials, that will take about four years.
Future phases will reconfigure traffic patterns and connect the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the New Jersey Turnpike.
A turnpike official previously told Land Line that the entire project would cost about $1.4 billion. Tolls and other sources will complete the financing.