Jared Kushner’s Ties to Abuse of EB-5 Visa Program

The following Huffington Post’s May 29th shot at the Administration has shown up on my FB Wall, posted by some progressive friends.

China

As best I can tell the Huffington Post is just regurgitating, with a sensational headline, a May 12th Reuters article, articles in other news outlets and Senator Grassley’s May 24th letter and his earlier May 10th letter on the same subject.  With no discernible original reportage.

As with most of these clickbait type news reports, you need to start with the final paragraph, in this case:

In his letter, the senator asked for responses [from DHS & SEC] by June 7 to inquiries about how the Chinese firm [Qiaowai] and a U.S.-based contractor [sic] called the U.S. Immigration Fund have previously been regulated and whether their actions can be legally punished.

“It appears the information regarding green card and no-risk guarantees violates our immigration laws,” Grassley wrote.

Note the action requested, and the potential illegal action is limited to Chinese Immigration Agency Qiaowai Group [1] and U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF).  Since January 2016 they [USIF] have offered the following investment projects to their clients seeking US Visas:

  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • 76 Eleventh Ave
  • TSQ Broadway Live
  • West Hollywood Edition
  • Halletts Point
  • 1 Journal Square (the Kushner connected project)

USIF describe themselves:

What We Do

Long-standing international relationships provide a steady and reliable source of investment capital from individuals seeking a U.S. Visa. USIF organizes the U.S. businesses (Regional Centers) that raise the Foreign Investor capital and manage the EB-5 process with USCIS.

The legal issue is:

… the firm [Qiaowai] guaranteeing a U.S. green card to Chinese investors in return for investment in the Kushner project. “They said the president would make sure it came through,” a technology executive told the Times. “They said there was no chance it could fail.”

[Does anyone else find “a technology executive” a strange source in a real estate/immigration matter?]

EB-5 Visas require the investment is “at risk”, which if Qiaowai is “guaranteeing” would preclude it viability as a EB-5 investment.  Likewise “it [visa] would come through” appears to be a guarantee of issuance of the visa, which is subject to US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS)  approval of Conditional Permanent Residence Status, Green Card and finally Naturalization.

EB-5flow
Credit: Klaskolaw.com

The smoking gun re: Jared Kushner appears to be:

a recent presentation featuring Kushner’s sister mentioned the connection [to Jared], according to The Washington Post.

The relevant WP passage is:

… that Nicole Kushner Meyer delivered a sales presentation in Beijing at which she urged Chinese citizens to invest in a New Jersey project being managed by the Kushner family’s real estate company. Meyer’s relationship to her brother was mentioned as part of the presentation.

So Jared sister mentioned his name in a sales presentation for the 1 Journal Square Project, a partnership of Kushner Companies,  WeWork and KABR Group, hosted by Qiaowai and U.S. Immigration Fund, in Beijing.  Jared sold his interest in the Kushner Companies in January.  I guess the smoking gun is in the eye of the beholder, I personally don’t see any illegality or perceived illegality on the part of Jared, his sister or the Kushner Companies.

In 2016 there were 7,516 EB-5 visa issued to citizen of mainland China.

Tidbits From Other Reportage

Various sources find venality, on behalf of the administration, in the fact that Congress pass and the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017 in early March, which extended the EB-5 program through the end of the fiscal year.

Reuters find the following incriminating, then in the final paragraphs acknowledge that they have no factual information {my emphasis and comments} :

In a promotional text message seen by Reuters, Qiaowai made note of Meyer’s relationship to Trump and called her {Jared sister Nicole Meyer} the event’s “heavyweight honored guest”.

In January, Qiaowai noted on its website that its founder and president, Ding Ying, had attended President Trump’s inauguration, meeting with the President and members of his family and cabinet.

“The fact that Ms Ding has once again been invited to attend a presidential inauguration shows that the U.S. Congress values and approves of the Qiaowai group,” it wrote.  {what other inaugurations has she attended?}

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether Trump had met with Ding Ying. A spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence said his office has no recollection or record of any meeting taking place.

Checks of donors to Trump’s inaugural committee and a review of all contributions to presidential candidates in 2016 found no donations from Ding, Qiaowai or a U.S. registered subsidiary.  {checks of congressional campaign donations might prove interesting} 

[1] A 2010 article on Qiaowai Group (aka Qiao Wai Group) pointing  out some of their marking practices were the same as being alleged today by Sen. Grassley.

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