Trump's in-laws promote thorny visa-for-sale program in China


Trump's in-laws promote thorny visa-for-sale program in China

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Top News French Election Kentucky DerbyAP

Kushner is facing a wave of criticism after his family staged events in China last week that encouraged wealthy Chinese to invest in luxury developments in exchange for USA green cards through the EB-5 program.

Nicole Kushner Meyer, Kushner's sister, mentioned her brother at a conference for wealthy Chinese investors as she tried to convince them to invest in the $821 million, two-tower project.

The Kushner Companies has apologized for including the name of President Donald Trump's son-in-law in materials promoting a New Jersey development to foreign investors seeking potential USA residency.

"Kushner Companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. I will continue to press for the elimination of the EB-5 program", Feinstein said on Monday.

The White House has indicated some willingness to follow through on the Obama-era proposals, which some in the real estate industry say are too drastic and could bring investments in the program to a trickle.

The White House said Monday that it is "evaluating wholesale reform" of the program along with Congress to ensure it is "used as intended and that investment is being spread to all areas of the country".

The White House is now weighing sweeping changes to the EB-5 program proposed by former President Barack Obama. The Trump Administration could decide to implement those changes, or come up with its own.

Feinstein said in a statement reports by The New York Times, The Washington Post and others make "crystal clear that the EB-5 regional center program presents a stark conflict of interest for the Trump White House".

Feinstein said that the programme is "rife with fraud and abuse" and has been "exploited by real estate developers to finance projects in the wealthiest parts of this country", even though it was created to boost rural and distressed urban areas.

The programme requires that a US$500,000 investment result in at least 10 jobs. She said the only way to eliminate the conflict is to allow the programme to end when the spending bill expires at the end of September. In a statement to CNNMoney on Monday, the company said the image "was part of a presentation by the event's organizers".

Asked about Meyer's sales pitch, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Kushner has taken steps to comply with ethics rules and referred questions to his family's firm. He urged the Administration to come up with a proposal to address the programme's "well-documented flaws".

"I've long called for an end to the EB-5 program". It received $50 million in EB-5 money.