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Kushner's kin woo investors in China, offer green card in return

Trump Slide The Beijing presentation included a slide stressing Trump’s importance to the program
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 03:43

The program offers foreign nationals permanent residency - commonly known as a green card - in exchange for investments of at least half a million dollars in a U.S. business that must also create 10 American jobs.

Nicole Kushner Meyer, Kushner's sister, mentioned her brother at a conference for wealthy Chinese investors as she tried to convince them to invest in the $821 million, two-tower project.

Bi said Kushner's sister Meyer spoke for more than 10 minutes, describing the history of the Kushner family and the highlights of the project.

On top of that, part of the pitch included trying to secure investments of at least $500,000 so that investors would be eligible for an EB-5 visa.

"Ms Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project", said Risa Heller, a Kushner Companies spokeswoman.

"There is much harrumphing as the Kushner companies are found to be extolling the idea of investment in the United States economy as a way to gain a residence visa for America", writesForbes contributor Tim Worstall, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London. Organisers barred journalists today from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai that offered Chinese investors the chance to get United States immigrant visas if they put money in a real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law. At a Sunday presentation in Shanghai, security guards barred all media.

"Senator Schumer strongly supports bipartisan legislation that would crack down on fraud, abuse, and improper influence within the EB-5 program", said Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer.

During her seven-minute speech in Shanghai, Nicole did not mention Jared Kushner or Trump but instead talked about her family's history since her grandparents went to the U.S. as refugees in the 1940s, the report said.

Jared Kushner listens as US President Donald Trump participates in a congressional listening session with GOP members in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 16, 2017. A slide displayed at the event on Saturday identified Mr. Trump as a "key decision maker" on the fate of the EB-5 program. "Meyer to a ballroom full of wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing", report Emily Rauhala and William Wan for the Washington Post. His attorney, Blake Roberts, said Kushner is not involved in the operation of Kushner Companies.

The program allows investors qualify for USA citizenship when they invest in the United States. The pitch would reportedly take advantage of a US visa program that, according to Bloomberg, has benefited both the Trump and Kushner real estate businesses in the past.

Workers wait for investors during an event promoting EB-5 investment.

Some of the changes include raising the threshold of money required to benefit from the program, from $500,000 to $1.35 million for the minimum level, and to tighten the requirements to qualify as a "Targeted Employment Area" - to ensure that such designations are reserved for areas that actually would benefit high unemployment areas. He is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, who also serves in the White House as an assistant to the President.

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have a bill to end the EB-5 program once and for all.

Chinese citizens have snapped up more than 80 percent of the visas issued under the program since 2011, according to Invest in the U.S., an industry association, and there's a huge backlog of applications.

Organizers of the investor meeting didn't seem to want reporters there.