According to revelations published by Bloomberg.com today, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump sold immigration visas to Chinese investors in a New Jersey real estate project.
‘The visa program is known as EB-5. In exchange for investing at least $500,000 in a project promising to create jobs, foreigners receive a two-year visa with a good chance of obtaining permanent residency for them and their families. In 2014, the most recent year for which records are available, the U.S. issued 10,692 of these visas — 85% to people from China.’
‘The Jersey City project has raised $50 million, about a quarter of its funding, from loans obtained through EB-5, according to a slide presentation by US Immigration Fund. Mark Giresi, general counsel of US Immigration Fund, said he believed nearly all of the EB-5 investors in the Trump project were from China.’
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is the chief executive officer of Trump Bay Street, a 50-story luxury rental apartment complex. Potential investors were sent a Chinese-language video shot from behind the dashboard of a car as it enters Jersey City — a clear reference to The Sopranos, complete with the HBO show’s theme song by Leonard Cohen.
The effort to cultivate Chinese citizens with potentially-permanent immigration papers seems at odds with the public image that Trump has cultivated while pursuing the GOP nomination.
On the stump, he has repeatedly referred to immigration in negative terms that reflect the bigoted propaganda of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), his immigration policy adviser. Trump often fails to recognize any difference between immigrants and the foreign states from which they come, encouraging the false perception that emigration is a sinister conspiracy against the United States.
For example, after winning the South Carolina primary Trump declared:
‘The problem is that the leaders of these countries, whether it’s Mexico or Japan or Vietnam, which is just doing a big number now all of a sudden, or China in particular — that’s the big one — the greatest abuse of a country that I think I’ve ever seen financially — China what they’ve done to us is the greatest single theft in the history of the world. They’ve taken our jobs. They’ve taken our money. They’ve taken everything.’
Trump has previously modified his absolutist position, in which he promised mass deportations and a shutoff of immigration flows, to admit “highly skilled workers.” Apparently, what he meant by that was ‘very rich Chinese.’
According to US Immigration Fund general counsel Mark Giresi, who spoke to Bloomberg, about one-fourth of Trump Bay Street’s capital financing came from EB-5 recipients, almost all of whom were Chinese.
US Department of Labor records show that Trump has imported at least 1,100 foreign workers since 2000. And whereas he now rails against outsourcing, Trump has benefited from it in the past and defended the practice as ‘good business.’
Donald Trump is clearly treating his voters like suckers. His arrogant, loudmouth bigot act is just that, an act. Trump plays the anti-immigration hysteric on stage to win votes, but behind the scenes, he’s just another self-serving hypocrite who exploits immigrants and Americans alike when it suits him.