Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is arranging a special offering for Chinese investments in the U.S. Kushner organized a publicly advertised event in Shanghai which offered investors U.S. immigration visas for a Kushner property investment. According to Reuters, the event has banned journalists from attending.
Kushner is currently developing a two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey. The development was listed under the Kushner Companies and the KABR Group and they are looking to raise $150 million for the funding of the project. As an incentive, Kushner said he could arrange an EB-5 visa program for those who will participate. This detail was listed on the public flyers distributed by the event organizer, immigration agency Qiaowai.
Even though the press was not allowed during the event, some guests still reached out to speak. One guest said that Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner, spoke on the stage for about 10 minutes. Nicole reportedly narrated the "humble roots" of their family.
Though Kushner has strong ties to the Trump administration, he reportedly sold his state in Kushner Companies "to a family trust early this year."
Kushner's lawyer, Blake Roberts of WilmerHale law firm, told Reuters that there is no "involvement in the operation of Kushner Companies."
Meanwhile, one tentative investor, Sophie Xing, said that her decision making involves the location of the project.
"Actually I really don't know how close they are but I felt that this was a pretty good project," she said.
Xing added that a Kushner representative has reached out to her to inform her that there may be expected changes on the EB-5 visa format and it may require a higher investment rate.
Liu Gouqi, another potential investor, said that this is also one of the reasons they are interested in investing early on
"The whole thing may change later this year so we feel that there isn't much time left," he said.
Kushner-Trump Exchanges Visa for CashThe EB-5 visa is used for any type of investor visas in the United States. However, there are limited companies that advertise this for potential investors of their own projects.
That is why the Kushner Companies is greatly criticized for this move. Not only has Ivanka Trump, Kushner's wife, been recently smashed by the public for having approved Chinese trademarks right after meeting with the Chinese president, her husband is following suit with another business move.
According to The Guardian, this could be a conflict of interest. Kushner Companies are requiring a minimum of $500,000 to be included in the scheme. The site noted that this is a "controversial cash-for-residency program that is known in China as 'the golden visa.'"
Even though Kushner's lawyer tried to distinguish his role in the White House and the "no-conflict-zone" of doing business for the Kushner Companies, New York Times China Correspondent who attended the brief showed a clip of the slideshow during the presentation.
The slideshow featured President Donald Trump as one of the "key decision maker" for the EB-5 investor visa program.Former chief White House ethics lawyer during the Bush administration Richard Painter said that this bid to Chinese investors was "incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate."
*They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa.... They're [Chinese applicants] not going to take a chance. Of course, they're going to want to invest.
Before joining the White House, Kushner has already raised $50 million from Chinese EB-5 applicants to add to the Trump-branded property in Jersey City, according to Bloomberg.
Since Kushner and Trump were known as the "famous real estate clan," the promoters of the event said that investors applying for the EB-5 visa will have a "peace of mind."
Kushner's spokesperson has not commented on this yet.
[Featured Image by AP Photo/File]