NEW ORLEANS — A little-known federal immigration program – one that’s created thousands of jobs and brought billions of dollars in investment to other American cities and towns – has fallen flat in New Orleans, and the investors allege that the men former Mayor Ray Nagin hired to handle it are committing fraud.
It’s called the EB-5 Visa program. Foreign investors who give at least $500,000 to designated investment centers, including New Orleans, get visas to live and work in the U.S.
If 10 New Orleanians get jobs after two years, the investor gets a green card.
In 2006, Nagin signed an exclusive 30-year deal with Maryland businessmen William “Bart” Hungerford Jr. and Timothy Milbrath to run the city’s EB-5 operation. They called their company NobleOutReach, and initially, the process seemed to be on the right track.