Saturday, May 20, 2017

Visas for Sale to Chinese

For Chinese citizens, American green cards can be notoriously difficult to obtain. But a Beijing immigration company called Qiaowai tells visa applicants of a secret weapon: It is working on behalf of a real estate firm owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.

“They said the president would make sure it came through,” said Lu Ling, a technology executive in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. “They said there was no chance it could fail.”

As it builds two luxury apartment buildings in Jersey City, the Kushner family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors through the so-called EB-5 program, which offers visas in exchange for a $500,000 investment.


On the Kushner project, Qiaowai promised safe investments and “guaranteed” green cards, according to emails and text messages sent to clients and reviewed by The New York Times.


The efforts to raise money in China highlight the potential conflicts between Mr. Kushner’s White House role and Kushner Companies. Although he stepped down as chief executive in January, Mr. Kushner still stands to profit from the company’s business, since he is the primary beneficiary of trusts invested in most of its projects.


“No one at Kushner Companies was aware of any statement or guarantee,” Risa Heller, a company spokeswoman, said in response to questions about Qiaowai.

Hey, he has no control over what a Chinese company is doing regarding visas. But these companies are under fire in the US for those very programs. The Kushners know.
Last month, federal agents executed search warrants in connection with an investigation into an alleged scheme to defraud EB-5 investors from China.


Qiaowai, which has worked with the Kushners since 2013, describes itself in ads as the company Mr. Trump uses to “dig for gold.” Its leader, a former banker named Ding Ying, has tried to project an image of proximity to the president, chronicling on the company’s website her visit to Washington in January to attend his inauguration.


Mr. Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, was criticized after mentioning her brother’s White House connections when she visited China this month to promote the New Jersey development. Ms. Meyer later apologized, saying it was not her intention to use her brother’s ties to the Trump administration to lure investors.
Got a bridge to sell me, Ms. Meyer?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

No comments: