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The original item was published from 4/8/2011 6:14:43 PM to 4/9/2012 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: April 8, 2011

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Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia joined other local leaders, business owners, and the education and economic development community at the announcement of USANOW’s designation as an EB-5 Regional Center by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS). This designation provides foreign nationals a pipeline to United States citizenship through a hefty investment of $500,000 and the creation of at least ten new jobs.

Created in 1990, the EB5 Visa Investor Program encourages job creation and capital investment by immigrant investors. This program is a mutually beneficial one, providing an opportunity for U. S. citizenship to interested immigrant investors in return for an injection of funding for economic development projects that stimulate local economies.

With safety concerns compelling many of our Mexican neighbors to leave their country for a safer environment, this program provides a viable option for their security and prosperity.

USANOW is the only EB5 regional center in the Rio Grande Valley (one of only six in Texas), and will serve a seven-county area, including the counties of Hidalgo, Webb, Zapata, Starr, Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy.

At today’s announcement, USANOW’s director Marco A. Ramirez stated, “We have $83 million ready to be invested in our counties.” Ramirez continued, “This is not a tomorrow project. This is a now project.”

Judge Garcia and Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court welcome the opportunity. “Hidalgo County actively seeks to attract companies to our county to create jobs, reduce our unemployment rates, and improve the quality of life for our residents,” Garcia stated.

“Hidalgo County is committed to working with local partners to put together incentive packets that will make our area attractive to these new investors,” Garcia continued. “The USANOW Regional Center will be a great asset that will assist our efforts to increase economic development in our County and our region.”

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