Kushners apologize for name-dropping Jared to Chinese investors

20 May, 2017, 07:26 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • The event was hosted by the Chinese company Qiaowai which connects U.S. companies with Chinese investors

Kushner's sister, Nicole Meyer, appeared at two investor presentations in China over the weekend, encouraging wealthy guests to sink money into a New Jersey real estate project through the controversial EB-5 visa program, the Washington Post and the New York Times reported.

Kushner's sister Nicole Kushner Meyer was in Beijing Saturday, seeking $150 million in investment in a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey, according to United States media reports.

Kushner Companies "apologizes if that mention of [Kushner] was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors", the company said in a statement emailed to NPR and other news outlets. "That was not Ms Meyer's intention".

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday Congress should end a contentious "citizenship-for-sale" visa program in order to eliminate a potential conflict of interest for Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a White House adviser.

Jared Kushner stepped away from his family's business after becoming a senior adviser to President Trump. Kushner resigned as CEO from his family's real estate company in January, ahead of joining the White House staff.

The controversial EB-5 programme allows wealthy foreigners to, in effect, buy USA immigration visas for themselves and families by investing at least US$500,000 in certain development projects.

On Monday, Trump administration spokesman Sean Spicer said the president would look at the foreign investor visa program as part of a broader review of immigration policy. Steven Fulop, the city's mayor, announced in a Facebook post on Sunday that he opposes Kushner Companies' request for a tax abatement. "Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules", one speaker said.

Meyer told a crowd of more than 100 potential investors in Shanghai yesterday that her grandfather had come to the United States as a poor refugee, working as a carpenter before building up a real estate empire.

"As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program", the statement said.

A Kushner family company is gathering investments in a luxury tower in New Jersey under the EB-5 visa program. Kushner Companies has said that Jared has "nothing to do" with the project his sister is now pitching in China. The investors and immediate family members, in turn, are eligible for visas, which can then become green cards.

Something like 90 percent of those putting up half a million dollars for a set of green cards through the EB-5 program are from China. Her relationship to Jared Kushner was also mentioned during the presentation hosted by Chinese company Qiaowai, the Washington Post reported. Kushner officials are also making more presentations next weekend in the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The visa program is especially popular among rich Chinese desperate to move their assets out of their country amid an economic slowdown.

For a man who made it into the Oval Office on a promise to close the immigration door to low-priority entrants, and to reduce immigration-related threats to national security, ending EB-5 should be a no-brainer.

"You would think if they are going to take part in a marketing event for one of their properties, that they would want to see the PowerPoint", he said.

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