This past January, I attended the 2017 EB-5 & Investment Immigration Conference as part of my ongoing thesis research regarding investor immigration in the United States. My particular research focus centers on the intersection of the migration decision, public policy, and economic development—three central components of the EB-5 Program. At the conference, I was able to learn from different EB-5 stakeholders through conducting ethnographic work, which combined participant observation with semi-structured interviews. I was also able to participate in five workshops and attend twelve panels, which ranged from how to organize an EB-5 venture to future immigration policy in the current political climate. The qualitative data collected during the conference will be central to my investigation of stakeholder motivations, the impacts of EB-5 immigration on job creation and local development, and the role of public policy in mediating these two agendas.
In addition, I was able to meet and speak with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado after their keynote speeches. Interacting with influential legislators who are instrumental in drafting immigration policy provided me with additional insight into how interest groups and immigration advocates interact with and shape policy. Motivated by this insight, I hope to address a gap in the academic literature on investor immigration with hopes to inform future immigration reform. I would like to express my immense gratitude to the Rockefeller Center for making the opportunity to conduct qualitative research at this conference possible.
- Submitted by William Paja '17, Rockefeller Mini-Grant Recipient
The Rockefeller Center's Mini-Grants program funds registration fees for students attending conferences, as well as the costs of bringing guest speakers to Dartmouth. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.