The mainstream media is on a tear over the Kushner family legally selling permanent resident visas to wealthy Chinese investors. Over the weekend, Jared Kushner’s sister gave a presentation in China about a new project the family company is building in New Jersey. As part of the presentation, she highlighted how a $500,000 investment could lead to permanent resident status for the investor in the United States. This is offered under the EB-5 program, which has been attacked by conservatives for decades.
Here’s how CNN Money explained what happened this weekend.
Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, spoke at an event in Beijing on Saturday. She was marketing a Kushner-owned property in New Jersey — invest in the development and get into the United States on a so-called EB-5 visa.
The EB-5 visa allows immigrants a path to a green card if they invest more than $500,000 in a project that creates jobs in the United States.
An ad for the event, held at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, said “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
CRTV’s Michelle Malkin has been covering the EB-5 program and those who abuse it for nearly two decades. In January 2001, Malkin explained how the program came to be and how it works.
This fraud-ridden scheme was created under an obscure section of the 1990 Immigration Act, signed by Bush’s father. Known as the EB-5 law, it allows wealthy foreigners to purchase green cards by investing between $500,000 and $1 million into new commercial enterprises or troubled businesses. After two years, foreign investors, their spouses, and children all receive permanent resident status – which allows them to contribute to U.S. political campaigns and provides a speedy gateway to citizenship.
Making political access and the privilege of citizenship available to the highest foreign bidder offends the very ideals Bush wants to promote. Arkansas Senator Dale Bumpers, a longtime critic of the program, noted: “All you need is green. You do not have to know anything about the poor and huddled masses that Emma Lazarus wrote about…How crassly we demean this precious blessing we call citizenship.”
In the 16 years since that article, Malkin has routinely exposed the program. One of the first episodes of her investigative program on CRTV was dedicated to EB-5 visa fraud.
Earlier this year, Conservative Review’s Nate Madden explained how the program works and the “corrupt racket” that has sprung up around it.
Here’s how EB-5 scams u
- The con men usually promise some new development or large investment project to a community in a targeted economic area. These are, ostensibly, poor, rural zones with high unemployment, but have typically been gerrymandered to include affluent urban areas as well.
- While the townspeople are preparing for the influx of capital by making investments in their own businesses, the scammers start soliciting funds from wealthy foreigners by dangling the promise of a guaranteed green card.
- As the money rolls in, the scammers line their pockets with investment cash. Meanwhile, vendors don’t get paid, buildings never get built, projects fall apart, people lose their money, and communities end up with only long, drawn-out court investigations to show for it.
This is exactly the sort of thing that happened in Newport, Vt., Port St. Lucie, Fla., and dozens of other cities and towns across the United States (The Center for Immigration Studies maintains a map that outlines dozens of federal, state, local, and civil cases involving EB-5 visa scandals that have rocked towns across the country.)
Like much that happens in the world surrounding Donald Trump, perhaps now the mainstream media will start reporting in earnest about the program and how it is abused. The public outcry may give those who want to reform the program the leverage they need to get it done.
Author: Rob Eno
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.