Jared Kushner's Family Banned Journalists While Pitching 'Golden Visas' For Chinese Investors

Vincent Carr
May 20, 2017

NY [U.S.A], May 9: The family of the White House advisor Jared Kushner has apologised for mentioning his name while urging Chinese investors to sink millions into a New Jersey real estate project.

While Kushner Meyer didn't mention President Trump by name - although CNN Money noted that his picture appeared on a presentation slide listing "key decision makers" on the EB-5 program - she did talk about her brother's new job.

Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, told dozens of potential investors in Beijing that they should invest in a skyscrapers now being built in New Jersey, the Guardian reported.

Investor visas have been highly criticized. Rich foreigners pony up six- or seven-figure investments for US projects in return for something that can eventually secure them American citizenship. The sister of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner urged wealthy Chinese on May 7 to buy stakes in real estate through a controversial programme that offers USA residency in exchange for investment.

The events were hosted in Beijing and Shanghai on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

SINGH: Now, this all has to do - or all of it's related to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, is that right? Meyer is a principal at Kushner Companies, which her brother (married to Ivanka Trump) ran before stepping away in order to serve his father-in-law in the White House.

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a chief White House adviser, has no stake in the project promoted over the weekend and has recused himself from the family business. Earlier this month, Congress extended the EB-5 program in its current form through September 30. Public relations representatives told the Washington Post that their presence threatened the "stability" of the event and that they didn't want reporters talking to anybody because: "This is not the story we want".

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee, said in an interview Sunday that it was "pretty sketchy" for Meyer to make her sales pitch given that the program's continued existence is in doubt, and the backlog of applications from Chinese investors may add five years to the process.

"This quick shuffling of assets among family members could easily be undone immediately after Mr. Kushner leaves the Trump Administration, which calls into question whether these transactions actually help resolve any conflict issues", Matthew T. Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale and former general counsel to Sen.

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.

It's illegal for government employees to use their position to turn a profit elsewhere, and while Kushner has divested from parts of his family's real estate company, that doesn't seem to be stopping them from playing up the connection. The next day, Nicole Meyer stood in a ballroom in Beijing and encouraged Chinese investors to put money into a troubled New Jersey luxury apartment complex in exchange for the chance to get one of those coveted visas.

Reforms to the EB-5 program have been proposed recently, by the way, but the main idea isn't to shut down the program or increase the numerical threshold for jobs created for qualifying projects.

Other reports by BadHub

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