Jared Kushner's family apologises for name drop in pitch

Jared Kushner's family apologises for name drop in pitch

Jared Kushner's family apologises for name drop in pitch

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's family business is courting wealthy Chinese to buy stakes in real estate through a controversial government programme that offers United States residency in exchange for investment. The New Jersey building makes use of an EB-5 visa program to draw in worldwide investors, including the Chinese.

The investment would be faciliated via the EB-5 immigrant visa program, which offers citizens of other countries the chance to immigrate to the USA, provided they invest at least USD500,000 American development projects, according to the New York Times.

The event was organized by Beijing-based immigration services company QWOS and Kushner Companies, according to an advertisement on the Chinese company's website, which says the project is seeking $150 million from 300 EB-5 investors.

Speaking in a ballroom [in Beijing], Ms. Meyer said the project "means a lot to me and my entire family".

"It's incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate", said Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush's administration, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration.

A similar meeting was held in Shanghai on Sunday.

Though the program is not often in the spotlight, it has always been targeted on Capitol Hill for reform - and the Department of Homeland Security is considering some changes to the program to set a higher bar for would-be investors.

"They care about the cost, they care about the green card, they care about the security of their investment", she said.

Are You Ready For 'Dancing With the Stars' Semi-Finals?
One couple will be eliminated at the end of the night while the other three will advance to next week's finale. Simone and Sasha: The judges were absolutely brutal towards Simone , which might actually be a good thing.

"Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States", reads the tag line on a brochure for an investment event. They sent Kushner's own sister to China to make the pitch, seemingly to remind potential investors just how direct their pipeline to the Oval Office could be.

Ivanka Trump's sister-in-law recently visited Beijing and Shanghai to market "investor visas" to wealthy Chinese citizens.

Stated intentions aside, reporters from the Times and the Post were quickly expelled from the Beijing presentation, after they were noticed by event organizers.

While some US Congress members have been calling for changes to, or full expiration of, the EB-5 programme for several years, legislation signed by Trump last week keeps the programme intact until September 30.

"Chinese people are pretty affluent now", said Stella Guo, a marketing director at CanAchieve Consultants, which helps Chinese clients obtain visas under the EB-5 program. Descriptions of the conference suggest that it was an event where Meyer was trying to persuade the room to get investor visas and provide a sizable amount of funding for two skyscraper projects in New Jersey. The apology stops short of admitting that the company was leveraging Kushner's role in the White House and his relationship to the president, his father-in-law. So for them, seeing the Kushners come, seeing the Kushners connection to the Trump White House, it's a very natural association.

The roadshow events are jointly organised by Kushner Companies, which Jared Kushner was associated with until he joined the U.S. administration this year, and mainland migration agency Qiaowai. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, the USA issued over 10,000 such visas-and 85% of them went to people from China.

The investor visa program was designed to entice overseas investors to put $500,000 into projects, mainly in higher-unemployment areas, creating at least 10 jobs, or $1 million in wealthier areas.

Watchdogs and ethics experts yesterday criticised the Beijing event as an attempt to cash in on Kushner's newfound proximity to power, it said. "Furthermore, numerous wealthiest areas in America have been inaccurately designated as "high-unemployment" in order to allow investors to obtain a green card for the smaller US$500,000 investment".

Related news