By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND — A state lawmaker who requested a federal review of a visa-investor program used by Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car company said he’s giving the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service one more week to respond.
State Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Louisa, made a written request to USCIS on April 10, following Watchdog.org’s reports on GreenTech Automotive’s participation in the EB-5 foreign-investor program.
“I’ll give it another week. Three weeks is sufficient time,” Garrett said in a teleconference with reporters Wednesday.
USCIS spokesman Chris Bentley said the agency had nothing to report as of Wednesday afternoon.
Garrett and state Delegate Tim Hugo, R-Centreville, said subsequent news stories have raised more concerns about the car company that McAuliffe founded and chaired.
Citing Watchdog’s report last week that GreenTech’s parent company is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, Hugo said, “It’s very telling that McAuliffe can’t give answers why it’s there.”
“He seems to have amnesia about his corporation, which was a centerpiece of his campaign.”
Garrett, a commonwealth attorney, noted that Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane has branded EB-5, which grants green cards to foreign investors, an exercise in “corporate welfare.”
Garrett said McAuliffe’s statements “beg the question of whether this is a pattern of deception or incompetence.”
McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin did not respond to a request for comment.
GreenTech sued Watchdog last month, alleging that its news coverage defamed the company and scared off potential investors. GTA has declined to make available for comment anyone from the company. The company’s outside counsel has not responded to multiple inquiries.
Kenric Ward is a national reporter for Watchdog.org and chief of the Virginia Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward
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