There has been a flurry of recent coverage, led by the New York Times and Washington Post, regarding the Kushner Companies' One Journal Square luxury housing project in Jersey City, which seeks $150 million from 300 Chinese immigrant investors under the controversial EB-5 investor visa program.For the rest of the article, click here. Note below the claim of 6616 jobs created, and the fact that immigrant investors, contributing $150 million, would get credit for all the jobs created in the full project.
Yes, the effort by President Donald Trump's aide (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner's relatives to capitalize on their ties to the White House reeks of nepotism and crony capitalism. And the decision by investment promoters to eject reporters from marketing sessions in China and force them to delete photos confirms they fear scrutiny.
After all, EB-5 has faced several scandals and has been criticized as selling visas to immigrants willing to park $500,000 in a "job-creating investment," thus gaining green cards for themselves and their families.
But this not-atypical marketing effort should raise even more red flags about a program – one frequently used by major real-estate developers – that awaits congressional reform, since EB-5 does far more for those developers than for the public.
|From project web site|
As noted in my piece:
The press coverage of One Journal Square has understandably focused on the Kushners, but let's not ignore the role of Nicholas Mastroianni II, who heads the U.S. Immigration Fund, perhaps the country's busiest regional center. He appears in project marketing materials and his company's logo was prominent in the slideshow shown at the investor event. His firm somehow claims Jersey City is "Known as Manhattan's Back Garden." (That must sound better translated to Chinese.)