Bloomberg Politics published an investigation Sunday night, reporting that a Trump-branded building in New Jersey was partially financed through a program that fast-tracks visas for foreign investors, largely those from China.
The report shows that while Donald Trump has railed against the Chinese and promised to take a hard line on immigration on the campaign trail, projects associated with the businessman may have relied on wealthy individuals from China to fund real estate projects via a visa program that makes immigration easy for certain individuals.
Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, is building Trump Bay Street in Jersey City through Kushner Companies. He engaged the US Immigration Fund to help seek investors, according to the Bloomberg report.
The project has raised $50 million, about a quarter coming through the EB-5 visa program, according to Bloomberg Politics. The program offers 2-year visas to those investing at least $500,000 in a project that will create jobs. About 85 percent of the visas issued through the program in 2014 went to individuals from China, according to the report.
Mark Giresi, general counsel of US Immigration Fund, told Bloomberg Politics that the Trump project used investors from China.
A spokesman for Trump told Bloomberg that the Trump Bay Street project was just a licensing deal. “This was a highly successful license deal but he is not a partner in the financing of the development,” the spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for Kushner said that the funds for the project were raised legally when asked about the visa program.
“The money was raised lawfully by the US Immigration Fund consistent with all the requirements of EB-5. This program enabled a development that created hundreds of new jobs in an area with employment needs,” Kushner spokeswoman Risa Heller told Bloomberg Politics.
According to Bloomberg Politics, members of Congress have raised concerns about the level of scrutiny applicants through the EB-5 program go under and have called for reforms.