The Kushner family told a group of 100 wealthy Chinese investors Saturday that they could secure immigration visas to the U.S. with an investment of half a million dollars, several media outlets revealed.
Speaking in Beijing, Nicole Kushner Meyer, sister of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, encouraged wealthy Chinese investors to invest at least $500,000 in a luxury apartment complex in New Jersey in exchange for a EB-5 visas, according to the Washington Post.
The EB-5 visa allows investors to obtain immigration visas if they invest at least $500,000 in projects that create jobs in the U.S. The program has been criticized by both the right and the left because it essentially allows rich foreigners to buy their way into the country rather than go through more traditional channels.
The EB-5 visa program, which wealthy Chinese sometimes call the “golden visa” program, brings billions of dollars into the U.S. for major projects, but there have also been several fraud cases, reports the New York Times.
Both President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, before they took their positions in the White House, embraced the EB-5 visa program to generate investment. When he served as chief executive for his family’s real-estate company, Kushner raised $50 million for a Trump apartment complex through Chinese investors interested in obtaining “golden” immigration visas.
At the event in Beijing, representatives of a Kushner family business told Chinese investors that the old immigration rules may change under Trump, who has taken a tougher stance on immigration. The speakers encouraged those in the audience to act fast before the president cracks down on immigration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker explained.
Saturday’s event, which was organized by Chinese immigration company Qiaowai, was held to raise money for 1 Journal Square, a $976.4 million residential and commercial project. The event was open to the public, but reporters from the Washington Post and New York Times were reportedly asked to leave, CNN revealed.
About 15 percent of the project is expected to be funded through the EB-5 program.
While Nicole Kushner Meyer mentioned her brother and his connection to the new U.S. administration, Jared Kushner has, according to his lawyer, separated himself from the family business and divested his interests in accordance with the suggestions of the Office of Government Ethics.
The advertisement for Saturday’s event read: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
While some investors see investment as an opportunity, others see it as a risk. “We heard that there are rumors that [Trump] is the most likely to be impeached president in American history. That’s why I doubt this project,” one investor told the Washington Post.
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