The Kushner family’s pitch to investors in China this weekend raised questions about conflicts of interest, and once again raised the profile of a controversial investor visa program known as EB-5. It’s designed to create American jobs with foreign investors but has been abused.

Over the weekend, a pitch in China to Chinese investors made a lot of headlines here in the U.S. That’s because Kushner Companies was making the pitch. It’s the family business of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. And the sell in Beijing involved a controversial visa program known as EB-5.

The program was created in the 1990s to boost jobs in areas that are rural or have high unemployment. But it languished until 2008 when the Great Recession dried up more traditional forms of financing.

Steve Park: Really that’s when EB-5 took off as a viable and robust means to find real estate projects, basically.

About 10,000 visas are now awarded through the program annually, but the program’s rapid expansion has also led to concerns of fraud and abuse. Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has been one of the leading voices sounding the alarm.

Read the full article here. Subscription may be required.


Related Areas