Kushner family influence peddling in China and other immigration news – May 8, 2017

“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.” That’s the offer from Jared Kushner’s family, making a pitch for  Chinese investors to put big money in a New Jersey real estate project. Kushner’s sister gave one of the pitches at the Ritz Carlton event in Beijing, and attendees said that “having the name of the U.S. president’s son-in-law on it was ‘a bonus for the project.'”

Kushner family pitches wealthy Chinese on ‘investor visas’ (The Hill, 5/6/17)

“The event was hosted by the Chinese company Qiaowai, which is working to get funding for Kushner 1, a project in New Jersey.”

In a Beijing ballroom, Kushner family pushes $500,000 ‘investor visa’ to wealthy Chinese (Washington Post, 5/6/17)

“Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa….

“The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States….

Jared Kushner’s sister woos China’s golden visa investors (AP via MPR, 5/7/17)

“Bi Ting, a 34-year-old woman who attended the Shanghai event, said that having the name of the U.S. president’s son-in-law on it was “a bonus for the project.”

“Bi said Kushner’s sister Meyer spoke for more than 10 minutes, describing the history of the Kushner family and the highlights of the project.”

But if you don’t have big bucks – you’re out of luck

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has deported another Cambodian refugee back to a country he has never seen.

Other Cambodians, born in refugee camps in Thailand and living in the United States for decades,  also have been deported to this “home” country, Though they were legal permanent residents in the United States, that status can be revoked after a criminal conviction, even if the immigrant serves out the sentence. Now they want to change the laws that sent them to a country they had never seen, separating them from spouses, children, and parents in the United States. Since there seems to be little chance of changing U.S. law, they are organizing to ask the Cambodian government to stop accepting deported refugees.
Willmar man deported to Cambodia (West Central Tribune, 5/4/17)

“Five days after his son was born, Souen “Posy” Chheng was placed on a flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with seven other deportees from the United States.

“Chheng is now over 8,000 miles away from the son he has not met, Jakobie, and the child’s mother and his wife of less than a year, Allison Chheng….

“Posy Chheng, 36, had never before stepped foot in Cambodia. He has no family there. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, and his family came to the U.S. in 1986 when he was 4 years old.”

His family left behind, Willmar man shipped to a country he doesn’t know (MPR, 5/5/17)

“Of eight Cambodian Americans swept up for deportation in Minnesota last year, five have now been sent to the southeast Asian country.”

Deported from U.S., Cambodians fight immigration policy (PBS, 5/7/17)

“Heng recruited his deportee friends and formed a political action group, “One Love Cambodia.” They are pushing to amend the repatriation agreement from the Cambodian side. Most crucially, they want the Cambodian Government to refuse to accept anyone who was once a refugee. To their surprise, this group of ex-convicts was granted a meeting with high level officials at Cambodia’s Interior Ministry….
“Only days after that meeting, the Cambodian Government sent a letter to the American Embassy, requesting to amend the current repatriation agreement and “suspend temporarily the implementation” until a new deal is struck. The U.S. rejected Cambodia’s request to suspend deportations and has sometimes withheld visas and economic aid from countries that refuse to accept deportees.”

And in other immigration news

50,000 Haitians Face Uncertain Future Under Trump Administration. (NPR, 5/6/17)

“They want to stay here in the United States right now because there’s nothing for them to go home to, even though the earthquake happened almost seven years ago, there’s still so much infrastructure that needs to be built. You know, I was talking with one woman just the other day who lost her home, and she said she still has not been able to save enough money to rebuild that home, should she need to be returned to Haiti. And she also has a 4 year old who’s only lived in the United States her whole life because she was born here.”

Father of 4 faces deportation after living in U.S. for 24 years (KSFY, 5/4/17) He entered the United States legally, seeking political asylum. He never got it, but by the time the denial came through, he had a child and his wife was pregnant with their second child. He was afraid to bring them back to the country he had fled. Since 2013, he has been reporting to ICE to check in every three months, his deportation not a priority for the Obama administration. Now, with Trump’s crackdown on all immigrants, he does not know what will happen next.

Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States (Pew Research Center, 5/3/17)  Charts, data, maps, analysis — it’s a data nerd’s dream come true.
Trump ordered a review of the program for bringing foreign skilled workers to the U.S. What’s he likely to find in Minnesota? (MinnPost, 5/5/17)

“The heaviest users of the H-1B system, at least in terms of the number of applications (the U.S. State Department keeps data on the number of visas actually granted but state-level data is not available online), are multinational companies seeking to hire workers at Minnesota locations: London and New York-based consulting firm Deloitte (requested 2,581 employees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor), which has an office in Minneapolis, Cognizant, a New Jersey-based IT company with offices in Edina (2,130), and Wipro Ltd., a Bengaluru, India IT company with offices in Minneapolis (1,087), among others.
“These companies seek everything from managers and analysts to developers, engineers and programmers, and some of them are Indian outsourcing companies, which some have accused of using visas to fill pedestrian IT jobs — not, they say, positions that require specialized skills.”

Poignant Paper Trail from the South Texas Border (New York Times, 5/4/17)

“Sorry for entering your ranch but it was out of necessity because we had four days of being lost,” she wrote in Spanish, adding, “Sorry for destroying your door and for having used your belongings. If we had not arrived here we would not have been able to call Immigration. Thank you and a thousand times sorry. God bless you.”
“From this vantage point on a South Texas ranch, immigration looks a lot different than it does on the news. The flow of men, women and children across the border ranchlands has been just as desperate, hopeful and horrifying as other mass migrations around the globe.”

A Path to America, Marked by More and More Bodies (New York Times, 5/4/17)

Case 0435 died more than a mile from the nearest road, with an unscuffed MacGregor baseball in his backpack. Case 0469was found with a bracelet, a simple green ribbon tied in a knot. Case 0519 carried Psalms and Revelation, torn from a Spanish Bible. Case 0377 kept a single grain of rice inside a hollow cross. One side of the grain read Sara, and the other read Rigo.

The belongings are part of a border-crossers’ morgue at a Texas State University lab here — an inventoried collection of more than 2,000 objects and 212 bodies, the vast majority unidentified….

“More people have died illegally crossing the southwestern border of the United States in the last 16 years than were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina combined.”

Trump travel ban back in U.S. courts next week as battles stretch on (Reuters, 5/4/17)

“The 4th Circuit will decide the fate of a ruling from a Maryland district judge that struck down a section of the revised executive order barring visitors from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia….
“Then, on March 15, a three-judge panel at the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will review a decision from a Hawaii judge that halted not just the travel portion of the ban but also the section that barred refugees.”

Going There: A Conversation In San Diego About Life Around The U.S.-Mexico Border (NPR, 5/6/17)
With immigration in the glare, read about Minnesota’s history (Star Tribune, 4/29/17) In Minnesota, “100 years ago, 70 percent of the population was either foreign-born or had at least one parent who was.” That’s the context for Lori Sturdevant’s review of Scandinavians in the State House: How Nordic Immigrants Shaped Minnesota Politics. In its account of a mixed history of immigration in Minnesota, she finds hope for the future:

“Acceptance of immigrants is a part of Minnesota’s tradition that could be sorely tested during the Trump years. But it’s a part to which Minnesotans should hold fast.”

Is Real ID done yet? Minnesota Senate leader says: ‘We’re working on it’ (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5/3/17)

With clock ticking, still no deal on REAL ID (MPR, 5/1/17)

“The main sticking point is unauthorized immigrants and whether the language of the bill should explicitly prohibit their ability to one day obtain drivers licenses. The House bill would make the existing rule that prohibits such licences a law. The Senate bill does not.”

Immigration officials agree to release Lawrence immigrant who was detained without bail (Boston Globe, 5/5/17)

“Arriaga was one of five people whose arrest in March at the Lawrence office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services caused outrage among immigrant advocates because those arrested had no criminal records, had been in the country for several years, and were taking a corrective path to earn legal residency but were detained without bail….
“Lawyers for Arriaga acknowledged that he stayed in the country despite a 2001 deportation order, but they said he stayed to work and support his mother and sisters. Since then, he has paid taxes, married a US citizen, and had four children.”

Amid fear and resistance, immigration agents in L.A. have not ramped up arrests (Los Angeles Times, 5/6/17) In Los Angeles, unlike other parts of the country, agents focus on people who have committed felonies, and arrests have not increased by much since Trump took office.

“After Trump dramatically broadened ICE agents’ authority, essentially giving them clearance to arrest anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, immigrant rights groups have pushed to educate immigrants on their rights — in particular to deny ICE agents permission to enter their homes. The effort has had a noticeable effect on arrest operations, Marin said, as agents increasingly have been stymied, as they were by the the Mexican man’s wife, who did not try to hide the fact that her husband was inside the house….”


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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