Visas for sale

There’s an interesting story in today’s Washington Post (May 7) about the EB-5 visa program. According to the report, the program is being used to attract foreign investors into high-end U.S. real estate projects.

Think Kushner. Think Trump.

The sister of the First Son-in-Law apparently this weekend was in Beijing pitching a new Kushner luxury project to wealthy Chinese investors with this statement: “Invest $500,00 and immigrate to the United States.”

Raise your hand if you think real estate developers should be peddling legal residence in the U.S. as a perk, if not the thing actually being sold, to foreigners who may or may not have accumulated their wealth in legitimate, much less ethical, ways.

Mr. Kushner, a government employee, has reportedly separated himself from the real estate project being pitched.

A better approach might be to allow individual U.S. citizens to sell their own legal right to be here to whomever they choose, rather than allow speculators to sell what they don’t actually own.

Attentive readers, writers and editors will also note the classic misuse of “immigrate” in the pitch. A wealthy foreigner would be purchasing the right to emigrate to the U.S. and once here would be considered an immigrant.

 

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