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Jared Kushner's sister woos China's "golden visa" investors

20 May 2017

Jared Kushner's sister highlighted her family's Holocaust survivor past and connection to the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump during a real estate sales pitch to Chinese investors.

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.

Kushner Companies however, in an email to the Post Sunday, said it "apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms Meyer's intention".

Speaking before more than 100 investors at Beijing's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Ms Kushner Meyer said the project "means a lot to me and my entire family", and mentioned her brother's former role as chief executive of Kushner Companies, the report added. 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. Through what's known as the EB-5 Investor Visa Program, foreign nationals from China and elsewhere can get on a path to U.S. citizenship after investing as little as $500,000 in real estate and other projects in the U.S. Muzaffar Chishti with the Migration Policy Institute explains.

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Roberts said in a statement that Kushner has divested his interests in the One Journal Square project by selling them to a family trust of which he, his wife and his children are not beneficiaries, a mechanism suggested by the Office of Government Ethics. The Kushner Companies declined comment. Therefore the Kushner family urged the assembled millionaires to "invest early" while the favorable rules are still in place.

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, a proponent of EB-5 changes and co-sponsor of Feinstein's bill, says he expects the White House to stand by the proposed Obama regulations and does not believe Kushner's family ties would endanger their implementation.

A similar conference was held in Shanghai on Sunday.

EB-5 investment from China will account for around 15 percent of its total US$976.4 million cost.

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Organizers of the investor meeting didn't seem to want reporters there. They accused her of using Jared Kushner's name to raise funds for the Kushner's family project. Kushner's lawyer says he has no financial interest in the project that was being pitched in China and that he will recuse himself from matters involving the EB-5 visa program.

The administration also said it was "exploring the possibility of raising the price of the visa to further bring the programme in line with its intent".

The Washington Post, however, while reported that the event in Beijing was held with a message that the Kushner family came to the U.S. as refugees, worked hard and made it big and if you invest in Kushner properties, so can you.

An attorney representing Kushner told the WSJ that "the Cadre stake is described in a revised version of his disclosure form that will be made public after it has been certified by ethics officials" and that he has "resigned from Cadre's board, assigned his voting rights and reduced his ownership share".

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The visa program is especially popular among rich Chinese desperate to move their assets out of their country amid an economic slowdown.

Jared Kushner's sister woos China's