The Washington Post reported on Saturday that representatives from the Kushner family business gave a presentation to wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing, trying to woo them to invest in a major real estate project in New Jersey.
The visa allows principal investors and their immediate family members to live and work legally in the U.S.in exchange for a minimum investment of $500,000 in a commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 permanent full-time jobs.
The Washington Post and New York Times reported over the weekend that the Kushner Companies organization-of which top Trump adviser Jared Kushner was until recently the CEO-is soliciting investments in China via a presentation given by his sister-in-law that highlights Kushner's prominence in the White House.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner played no role in his family firm's decision to recruit Chinese investors with presentations on an "investor visa" program that name-checked both him and President Trump. Kushner's sister Nicole Meyer spoke at the event in an effort to solicit $150 million in financing for an upcoming Kushner Companies Jersey City housing development, One Journal Square.
"I've long called for an end to the EB-5 program".
Organizers yesterday barred journalists from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai to attract investors to One Journal Square.
Under the visa program, entrepreneurs (along with their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the US and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified USA workers.
An ad for the Beijing event promoting the"Kushner 1 real estate project in Jersey City
The EB-5 program, which lawmakers have targeted for reform, is authorized through government spending bills and has been renewed continuously for years as Congress has opted to renew short-term continuing resolutions. It is also to be noted that in 2014, almost 90% of the EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals.
Kushner Companies has apologized after Nicole Kushner Meyer (right) mentioned her brother Jared (left) at an investors event in China.
"Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules", one speaker said, according to the Washington Post, which first reported about the event, referring to the possibility that the Trump administration might alter the rules of the EB-5 program and make it more hard to acquire the visa.
"As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program", Roberts said in a statement. There are concerns about potential conflicts of interests, but also about a visa program for investors. "In addition to numerous cases of securities fraud, the program is frequently exploited by real estate developers to finance projects in the wealthiest parts of this country".
SINGH: And, again, we should note, the Kushners did not explicitly say that they would use their influence in the White House to get these investors green cards.
However, eyebrows have been raised as the Chinese investment sought by his family firm will be funnelled through the US EB-5 visa programme.
Allegations of self-dealing have particularly sprung up in relation to China, which was heavily criticized by President Trump during and after last year's campaign. Earlier this month, Congress extended the EB-5 program in its current form through September 30.