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Kushner Family Hawks $500K Cash-For-Visa Program To Wealthy Chinese
20 May 2017, 03:33 | Terri Saunders
He stepped down from the family business in January to join the U.S. administration where he has far-reaching influence over both domestic and foreign policy.
Kushner Companieshas apologized after Nicole Kushner Meyer (right) mentioned her brother Jared (left) at an investors event in China. That was not Ms. Meyer's intention.
While both deny that they are personally benefitting from their ties to the president, The New York Times reports that Kushner's sister told Chinese investors at a hotel conference in Beijing on Saturday that investing thousands of dollars in Kushner Companies can gain Chinese investors a USA visa.
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.
Jared Kushner, whose White House portfolio includes relations with China, sold his stake in Kushner Companies to a family trust early this year. "As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program", Roberts said.
The Kushner Companies has apologized for using Jared Kushner's name during an investment promotion event at a Ritz Carlton in Beijing. The firm has long raised money for its real estate ventures from the EB-5 program, which awards legal residency in the United States to foreign investors.
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"They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa", he told the Washington Post.
Bi Ting, a 34-year-old woman who attended the Shanghai event, said having the name of the us president's son-in-law associated with it was "a bonus for the project". It said the One Journal Square project would provide millions in tax revenue and bring in thousands of construction jobs to New Jersey.
Kushner Companies appears to have learned their lesson from Saturday's event.
They argue the program - meant to spread economic development in poor and rural areas - merely benefits wealthy developers in big cities. "I know for certain I have made my feelings clear here on this project and what I feel works best for Jersey City". The investment is a bribe, essentially, which entitles you to fast-track entry into the US without the usual proof of education or work qualifications and even in some cases without basic law-enforcement checks. As for creating jobs, WaPo notes a GAO report flagging the EB-5 program as ripe for fraud given the amount of money changing hands. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), on Monday afternoon issued a statement calling for an end to the program.
Kushner, 36, is a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump and stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration. A slide displayed at the event on Saturday identified Mr. Trump as a "key decision maker" on the fate of the EB-5 program. USA lawmakers have been weighing proposed changes to the program, which would likely affect companies such as Kushner Cos. should it want to raise funds from such investors.
Sources familiar with the negotiations behind the scenes say that while lawmakers would have liked to make good on their threat to let the program fall away - rather than renew it without reform - the reality is that little progress was actually made on a reform deal that could have been agreed on before government funding ran out.
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There has also been a significant uptake in its movie ticketing, and travel booking (rail, bus and flight tickets) businesses. Investors like Softbank are betting big on Paytm as they expect to re-write the Alipay success story in China here in India.