As the EB-5 immigration visa for investors program grows in popularity, many are talking about the large number of wealthy foreigners coming to the United States from countries like China, Russia, India, and the United Kingdom to invest in a number of high-ticket projects and businesses. However, officials in Texas have noticed a new trend in the last year: a quickly growing number of moneyed Mexicans are crossing the border legally though the EB-5 investment program and settling in big cities like Dallas and Houston.
Why are Mexican investors using the program more this year? For the last three years, the City of Dallas has been wooing wealthy Mexican investors to come to Texas and invest in a new project that would help develop the area and boost the economy (EB-5 visa holders are required to invest either $500,000 or $1 million in a project and create a certain number of new American jobs). At the same time, the quality of life for many Mexican businesspeople has deteriorated in recent years, as the crime rate has increased due to drug cartels. Faced with a stagnant economy and a rash of kidnappings and killings, many well-off Mexicans are leaving their homes for the United States. Texas – and Dallas in particular – is palatable because it is a short flight away from their country of origin, their ongoing business, and their relatives.
Some of the immigrants have begun to call themselves migrantes fresas (high-end migrants) and have built a community in Texas. So far, the arrangement has been mutually beneficial for both the economy and the Mexican immigrants.