Miami, Citizenship for Sale
There is a saying among business folk, "The greatest thing about Miami is its proximity to the United States."
Indeed, Miami is a powerful city in the state and internationally. The city (and in part, by extension Florida) is influential in global financial risk markets, especially concerning natural disaster risk. Ongoing building, concerns about the effects of climate change, and a scientific enterprise limited by the human condition's inability to tell the future, has built a 'peak risk' brand for Miami. The city does love it's branding....
A recent FT article reports that Miami is gearing up to increase marketing of development opportunities to foreign investors, especially in China. In exchange for a minimum $500k investment and the creation of 10 jobs, investors are offered a US green card. The investor visa program, EB5, has attracted people in Manhattan. Miami, long seeking to be a funner NYC, also wants to further participate in the program.
The graph below is from the Financial Times...
The Ft reports the EB5 program has led to $15.5B in investment and 84,400 jobs.
But it seems there is a question begging somewhere in here for who a city, a state, and a country ought to serve. If government is incentivized to recruit its constituency from abroad, then policymakers are more concerned about the needs and concerns of perspective citizens than to current ones. This does not seem a problem of immigration but one of democratic representation and accountability.