Kush­ner fam­ily in Bei­jing: ‘In­vest $500,000 and im­mi­grate’ to US

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ni­cole Kush­ner Meyer, the sis­ter of White House ad­viser and Pres­i­dent Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kush­ner, spoke at an event in Bei­jing on Satur­day. She was mar­ket­ing a Kush­ner-owned prop­erty in New Jersey -- in­vest in the de­vel­op­ment and get into the United States on a so-called EB-5 visa.

The EB-5 visa al­lows im­mi­grants a path to a green card if they in­vest more than $500,000 in a project that cre­ates jobs in the United States. An ad for the event, held at a Ritz-Carl­ton ho­tel, said: “In­vest $500,000 and im­mi­grate to the United States.”

The EB-5 visa has been used by the Trump and Kush­ner fam­ily busi­nesses. For­eign­ers, par­tic­u­larly wealthy Chi­nese na­tion­als, have used the EB-5 pro­gram as a ticket into the states. And that prom­ise has helped at­tract for­eign in­vest­ments for U.S. real es­tate projects.

Pres­i­dent Trump has taken an anti-im­mi­gra­tion stance and vowed to se­verely tighten the use of work visas. The EB-5 pro­gram has come un­der fire by mem­bers of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Law­mak­ers say the pro­gram essen­tially sells cit­i­zen­ship to high-in­come for­eign­ers.

On Satur­day, po­ten­tial in­vestors in the Kush­ner project were told they should act quickly be­cause pos­si­ble pol­icy changes to the EB-5 pro­gram might raise the re­quired min­i­mum in­vest­ment.

Ni­cole Kush­ner Meyer also told the crowd how her grand­fa­ther im­mi­grated to the United States and built a busi­ness from the ground up. And she men­tioned Jared’s new po­si­tion in the White House. Though she did not ref­er­ence Pres­i­dent Trump by name, his photo ap­peared on a slide that listed the “key de­ci­sion mak­ers” on the EB-5 pro­gram. “In 2008, my brother Jared Kush­ner joined the fam­ily com­pany as CEO, and re­cently moved to Wash­ing­ton to join the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” she said.

Jared Kush­ner serves as an in­flu­en­tial se­nior ad­viser to the pres­i­dent. Trump has at var­i­ous times said he would lead or play a key role in many pol­icy ar­eas from for­eign af­fairs to busi­ness in­no­va­tion.

The event was meant to draw in­vestors for 1 Journal Square, a $976.4 mil­lion res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial project un­der­way in New Jersey. The com­pany says about 15% of it will be funded through the EB-5 pro­gram.

Jared Kush­ner has stepped away from the busi­ness since tak­ing a key role in Trump’s White House. His at­tor­ney, Blake Roberts, said Kush­ner is not in­volved in the op­er­a­tion of Kush­ner Com­pa­nies and di­vested his in­ter­ests in the Journal Square project by sell­ing them to a fam­ily trust that he, his wife and his chil­dren are not ben­e­fi­cia­ries of, which was sug­gested by the Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Ethics. “As pre­vi­ously stated, he will re­cuse from par­tic­u­lar mat­ters con­cern­ing the EB-5 visa pro­gram,” Roberts said in a state­ment.

The Bei­jing event, which was or­ga­nized by Chi­nese im­mi­gra­tion agency Qiaowai, was open to the pub­lic. Re­porters from the Wash­ing­ton Post and the New York Times at­tended but said they were later asked to leave.

Kush­ner Com­pa­nies de­clined to com­ment. Qiaowai could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment.

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