July 15, 2011 5:21 PM
VICTORVILLE • The city of Victorville has filed its lawsuit against the federal government over the termination of its EB-5 visa investor program, Mayor Ryan McEachron confirmed Friday. (Click here to view the complaint.)
All five parties in the lawsuit are in the process of being served, McEachron said, including:
• The Department of Homeland Security;
• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
• Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security;
• Alejandro Mayorkas, director of USCIS; and
• Rosemary Melville, director of the USCIS California Service Center.
Victorville is suing the agencies and their leaders for declaratory and injunctive relief, after the city’s EB-5 program became the first in the nation to be terminated.
USCIS approved the program in 2009, allowing the city to solicit foreign citizens willing to loan $500,000 for qualified projects that create at least 10 jobs. Victorville collected $7.5 million in loans from 15 investors before the program was terminated in October, with USCIS citing concerns over whether the city was creating the required number of jobs.
The City Council voted to initiate litigation over the termination on a 3-1 vote during closed session in June. Councilman Rudy Cabriales was absent and Councilwoman Angela Valles voted against the move.
Though the suit was supposed to be filed by June 24, McEachron said he got confirmation Friday that it had been filed in a Washington, D.C., court.
It cost Victorville $7,500 to prepare and file the suit, with no estimate available for how much it will cost to fight it.
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Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.