The U.S. EB-5 program, which rewards wealthy foreign investors with green cards, is up for renewal next week. Washington insiders are cautiously optimistic the program will continue and have a powerful ally in President-elect Donald Trump. The program, which has been under fire for funding luxury building projects in metropolitan areas such as such as Manhattan rather than creating jobs in rural, economically distressed areas, was up for extension last December, extended to September 30, and is now extended until December 9. Angelique Brunner, the EB-5 Investment Coalition’s industry membership chair and spokesperson, said that while “it’s hard to say what Congress’s priorities are right now” the EB-5 program has been extended in the past and the coalition has bipartisan support for the program and is anticipates that Congress will continue the program.

 Trump has not stated a position on the EB-5 program. Despite his hard stance on immigration, calls to increase screening of immigrants, and threats to start a trade war against China, Trump is no stranger to Chinese investment or to EB-5 funds. His son-in-law Jared Kushner’s rental apartment complex in Jersey City, New Jersey, named Trump Plaza, has taken in $50 million in EB-5 funds, mostly from Chinese investors.

“On the surface, Trump is a real estate guy, he’s a New Yorker, he has friends and family in real estate development — not to mention his own interests. He may not want to rock that boat too much. He also is tax averse which bodes well for EB-5 being that it is an economic development tool that comes free to the taxpayer. It’s also a job creator, which is a pillar of his campaign. So, all of these elements would lead an optimist to believe that he could be good for EB-5,” said Samuel Newbold, attorney at Barst Mukamal & Kleiner in New York.

Recommended by Forbes