Since the start of his presidential campaign, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has been extremely vocal about his disdain for China and his desire to tighten up U.S. immigration policies.
“[China has] taken our jobs, they’ve taken our money, they’ve taken everything,” Trump said in a speech last month. He also called for a much more stringent screening process for immigrants wanting to enter the country.
In a twist, however, wealthy Chinese are now being recruited to invest in a huge Trump-branded real estate project, according to Bloomberg. The project, Trump Bay Street, is a 50-story luxury retail building that’s being built in New Jersey.
A Chinese-subtitled video was produced to recruit investors for Trump Bay Street through the EB-5 visa program.
What is EB-5?
Non-residents who invest at least $500,000 into projects in the U.S. that create jobs will be granted a two-year visa with a good chance of obtaining permanent residency status for them and their families. In 2014, the U.S. issued 10,692 visas, 85% of which were granted to people from China, according to Bloomberg.
While the program helps add more money and jobs to the U.S., critics say the program is used to essentially sell visas to rich foreigners. Congress and Homeland Security say it could be used as a vehicle for money laundering and also threatens national security.
Trump Bay Street has reportedly raised a total of $50 million, with 25% of those funds coming from EB-5.
The high-rise project is being built by real estate firm Kushner Companies, which is owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Trump himself is not a partner in the financing of the deal and lends his name to the project through a licensing deal.
In 2011, Trump told ABC News:
“Hey look, I know lots of folks in China, they think we are the dumbest son of a bitches in the world, all right? They are laughing at us behind our backs, taking money out and then they loan it to us.”
Ironically, Trump’s clothing line is manufactured in China and Mexico. During the recent March 3 Republic debate, he skirted the issue of moving their manufacturing to the U.S.