Kushner family apologizes for mentioning White House adviser Jared Kushner
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that representatives from the Kushner family business gave a presentation to wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing, trying to woo them to invest in a major real estate project in New Jersey. The context, per CBS News, was used to encourage Chinese investors to help fund the New Jersey real estate project in exchange for the controversial EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, “which allows permanent USA residency for those who finance projects that create a certain amount of jobs”.
Meyer noted that if investors put at least $500,000 into the Kushner-family backed project, they could qualify for an EB-5 visa. In crowded urban zones, developers have been found to gerrymander projects to allow them to offer the lower investment amount. His family’s promotional efforts in China come amid widespread criticism of the EB-5 visa program, which has grown popular among wealthy foreigners seeking to move to the US but faces allegations of fraud and misuse. At a Sunday presentation in Shanghai, security guards barred all media.
Kushner’s lawyer, Blake Roberts of WilmerHale law firm, said in an emailed statement that Kushner “will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program”.
The presentation by representatives from the Kushner real estate business also once again raised questions about the family’s business ties overseas, and whether they pose a conflict of interest for Jared Kushner, trusted adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump.
Attendees were reassured by a U.S. lawyer that despite his tough talk on immigration, Trump was unlikely to make any changes to the EB-5 policy in the near future.
“This was presented as a Kushner family event”, she said.
The disturbing events also shed light on Trump’s own conflicts when it comes to USA visa programs like EB-5.
While some investors see investment as an opportunity, others see it as a risk.
Kushner Companies was also due to pitch for investments in Shanghai yesterday and in the southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou next weekend, according to the events’ organiser QWOS, a Chinese government-approved immigration agency. He stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration.
The minimum required investment is typically $1 million, but a special rule allows the minimum to drop to $500,000 if a project includes an economically area. Qiaowai says on its website (in Chinese only) that the project is the 87th EB-5 project it has marketed in China, and also its second time working with the Kushners.
About 15 percent of the project is expected to be funded through the EB-5 program.
The programme is popular among wealthy Chinese looking to shift assets abroad or move overseas, but it has come under fire in the United States. “Later, as investors started leaving the ballroom, organizers physically surrounded attendees to prevent them from giving interviews”.