Kushner Companies apologises for touting USA presidential family ties in China


Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of the key White House adviser, raised her brother's connections to the Trump administration while seeking to raise money from Chinese investors through a government visa program for foreigners who invest in USA projects.

The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards if they invest as little as $500,000 in a U.S. development project that would create jobs.

Nicole Kushner Meyer was in China at the weekend, seeking more than $150 million in investment in a luxury apartment complex known as 'One Journal Square, ' on which ground is scheduled to break early next year.

Marketing materials for the event last week promoted Nicole Kushner Meyer as Jared's sister, and cited the Kushner family's "celebrity" status. Kushner resigned from his position in the company in January.

The Kushner family has apologized for bringing up its connection to the Trump administration while hawking real estate investments to Chinese businesspeople looking for US visas. On Thursday the president signed an omnibus appropriations bill that kept the central part of EB-5 alive until September 30 of this year; on Friday that law went into effect; Saturday was the Beijing event; and Sunday was the Shanghai one.

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"Senator Schumer strongly supports bipartisan legislation that would crack down on fraud, abuse, and improper influence within the EB-5 program", said Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer. Meyer is a principal at Kushner Companies, which her brother (married to Ivanka Trump) ran before stepping away in order to serve his father-in-law in the White House.

A new proposal now in Congress could soon raise the minimum investment for the EB-5, or investment, visa. And I think, you know, the implications since she was addressing a group of potential investors and immigrants was that, you know, they could make it, too, if they invested with Kushner Companies.

California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein says it should be nixed, arguing the program sends a message that visas and US citizenship are for sale.

At the event in Beijing, representatives of a Kushner family business told Chinese investors that the old immigration rules may change under Trump, who has taken a tougher stance on immigration.

In the Ritz-Carlton ballroom, Meyer spoke about the significance of family values that shaped up Kushner Companies.

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But a connection pitched in China over the weekend - involving ties between President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and a real-estate project - has prompted ethics experts to raise objections, and some lawmakers to call for change. The reforms included efforts to revive that the program's original intent of providing investment in rural and distressed urban areas.

He remains the beneficiary of a series of trusts that own his stakes in Kushner Companies properties and other investments, worth as much as $600 million, and probably more.

Kushner's lawyer claims that Kushner has personally divested from the One Journal Square project, although of course his family has not.

Organizers of the investor meeting didn't seem to want reporters there.

The EB-5 visa program has been under scrutiny in the past - including most recently in March, when Rep.

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