EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 5, Issue 2 - Page 160

U nited States’ Senator Ted Cruz, keynote speaker at the 2017 San Francisco EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention in Francisco, was met with standing ovations as he declared his support for the positive impact of the EB-5 program on the U.S. economy. "We are a blessing of a nation with people from all over the world who desperately wants to be here and that’s a tremendous strength we have here," said Cruz, a former presidential candidate. "It’s an ability of us to attract people who can drive jobs and economic prosperity. The idea behind the EB5 program was to link capital to create jobs, ideally in low employment areas so you have more opportunity for people who are struggling and to raise capital there. I think that idea makes an awful lot of sense." About 700 EB-5 professionals attended the two-day conference at the elegant Westin St. Francis in the heart of San Francisco on July 27-28. With the backing of more than 75 sponsors, the successful event by EB5 Investors Magazine featured 94 distinguished speakers in a variety of interactive and educational panels. The convention -- which attracted a mix of immigration and securities attorneys, regional centers, migration agents, developers, broker-dealers and other EB-5 program stakeholders – kicked off with moderated seminars in three tracks of agent due diligence, EB-5 attorney and EB-5 financing workshops. The evening culminated with an exclusive VIP cocktail reception on the 39th floor of the luxurious hotel with views stretching from the Golden Gate bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf. Guests included former USCIS director Leon Rodriquez and former California State Assembly man Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. Breakfast speaker Todd Rufo, Director of the San Francisco office of Economic and Workforce Development, kicked off the second day, which had 43 exhibitors showcasing their services in an EB-5 industry expo while a dozen educational panels covered topics such as the EB-5 legislative reform, India as the new EB-5 frontier, capital redeployment and source of funds issues. Throughout the event, attendees were able to network to build new partnerships and strengthen their overseas and industry networks during scheduled breaks. Many powerful introductions and connections were made for participants to expand their businesses. The conference, which aimed to add transparency and increase EB-5 education for both industry veterans and new entrepreneurs, was praised by many of its participants. "The San Francisco EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention was top notch both for experienced and newcomers," said Bernard Wolfsdorf, Managing partner at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP and Past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "Not only were we able to share cutting edge information and knowledge, but all the key players were there for networking purposes." Robert Divine, Head 159 EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE