On EB-5, Will Trump Choose Reform or Fascism?

Drain the swamp! cried the President-Elect, who now meets foreign dignitaries amidst tacky extravagance worthy of Saddam Hussein. What more swampy program could our First Fascist Family drain than EB-5, which will likely cruise unreformed under our capitulating South Dakota delegation‘s noses in yet another lazy budget resolution? EB-5 exemplifies the kind of big-money corruption driving policy for corporate interests:

PAUL SOLMAN: Last year, six bills were introduced in Congress to reform the EB-5 program, increasing scrutiny of the so-called regional centers, private firms that sponsor EB-5 developments. None passed. Why?

MICHAEL GIBSON: There are a few regional centers with very powerful connections in Washington, including their lobbyists. They are concerned any reform would impact their ability to raise capital for cities such as New York and Los Angeles and Miami.

PAUL SOLMAN: Scandals, fishy financing, yet lobbyists have kept Congress from cleaning things up, for the usual reasons, says Gibson.

MICHAEL GIBSON: The developers are very well-financed, well-heeled. They donate to the political campaigns of many of these politicians. So if the developers can save several million dollars, they are going to encourage their politicians to have them — allow them to use the EB-5 capital for their development. It’s self-interest [Paul Solman, “The Visa Program Leaving Hopeful Immigrants Empty-Handed,” PBS NewsHour, 2016.11.17].

But how can the Trump-Kushner cabal turn on the dimes EB-5 has put in their pockets?

Just this month, Trump Bay Street, a 50-story luxury apartment building, opened in Jersey City, New Jersey, built by a company run by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who raised a quarter of the project’s $200 million financing from EB-5 investors in China [Solman, 2016.11.17].

Trump is also tied to an EB-5 pitch to Chinese investors in Texas.

The corporate seizure of EB-5 as a profit center endangers not only honest domestic business but our international credibility:

MICHAEL GIBSON: The issue is that it is affecting the credibility of the United States, because granting what is probably the most cherished document in the world, a U.S. passport, and path to eventual citizenship is really in the hands of developers, who at times do scheme and fraud to take advantage of the investors [Solman, 2016.11.17].

EB-5 is a center of corrupt business lobbying influence over immigration policy that damages American credibility. It is everything that Trumpist rhetoric says America voted to stop. Yet it is everything that Trumpist greed wants. Which will win, rhetoric or greed?

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies, 1938.04.29].


5 Responses to On EB-5, Will Trump Choose Reform or Fascism?

  1. Everybody knows the answer to your question Cory, it will be interesting to see the reaction, or lack there of, the supporters of the fascist Trump when they realize they have lost their country.

  2. mike from iowa

    Kushner’s lawyers are searching to find a way for him to serve in the WH despite rules against nepotism. He still has not been vetted for security clearance and Drumpf has not divested himself of his business interests.

  3. As we continue to send jobs out of the country, the only thing we have to offer is a passport. This is our legacy. We do not build anything anymore except corruption with a protection racket, Charles “Lucky” Luciano would be proud of his legacy. In honor of Lucky, we will now use the EB5 to build more private prisons to house those that do stuff against stuff whatever that may be. So, Fascism of course is our due course. Let the sales of brown shirts begin!

  4. “Is Donald Trump a fascist? Let’s review the acts of Hitler’s regime after his appointment as Reich Chancellor in January, 1933:

    1. The Enabling Act. In the spring of 1933 Hitler got the German parliament to pass an act giving Hitler’s decrees the force of law, effectively giving him legislative as well as executive powers. From then until the end of World War II, parliament was mere rubber stamp for the Nazi regime.

    2) Abolition of opposition parties. By the summer of 1933, all political parties except the Nazi Party had either been abolished or had voluntarily disbanded.

    3) Centralization. Germany throughout its history has been either a confederation or federation of myriad states, which had considerable autonomy. Under Hitler, power was concentrated in the Nazi Party, which divided Germany into regions known as Gaus. The Gauleiters, or regional Nazi Party leaders, became supreme authorities under Hitler, making the old federal states largely irrelevant. Police, formerly the responsibility of the states, were subordinated to Himmler’s SS. By 1939, an office called the RSHA (Reichsischerheitshauptamt, “Reich Security Head Office”) became the formal arm of government responsible for law enforcement throughout Germany. It had six main divisions; division #4 was the infamous Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, “Secret State Police”).

    4) Control of the Media. A Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda was established under Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels; it had authority over all newspapers and broadcasters in Germany. The Nazi Party’s newspaper, Voelkischer Beobachter (“People’s Observer”) became the most important paper in Germany,

    5) Employment. Germany in 1933 was in the midst of the Great Depression, and millions of Germans were out of work. Hitler established the RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst, “Reich Labor Service”); like the Civilian Conservation Corps under Roosevelt, it put many of the unemployed to work on infrastructure projects such as the famous Autobahnen.

    6) Militarization. Military conscription, abolished after the first World War, was reestablished in 1935. A massive rearmament program was introduced to rebuild the German Army (Heer) and Navy (Kriegsmarine), and a new Air Force (Luftwaffe) was established. Germany had been from possessing tanks, aircraft, and submarines by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, and the size of the Army and Navy had been severely restricted. Hitler openly denounced the treaty and began building what would become the most formidable military machine in Europe.

    7) Dispossession of the Disfavored. The infamous Nuremberg Laws, aimed at removing Jews from positions of prominence and degrading them from citizenship, were introduced. Concentration camps under the jurisdiction of Himmler’s SS (Schutzstaffel, “Protection Squadron”) were set up to receive Communists and other opponents of the regime.

    8) Control of the Judiciary. After the embarrassing results of the Reichstag Fire trial, in which most of the accused, including the future Communist leader of Bulgaria, Georgi Dimitrov, were acquitted, Hitler established the Volksgerichthof (“People’s Court”) which would conduct the most infamous political trials of the Nazi era. It would send thousands of prominent Germans to their executions.

    9) War. The Nazi Regime could establish and maintain Germany’s high standard of living only through massive government expenditure, and it would inevitably become necessary for Germany to take the resources it needed by force. Hitler’s plan had long included the occupation and exploitation of much of eastern Europe; while he did not want war with Great Britain and the west, the western powers were unwilling to stand by and allow Hitler a free hand, and so Hitler’s war became a world war.

    Donald Trump’s victory has a lot of Americans fearing for their future. Time will tell how many of Hitler’s footsteps he attempts to follow.”

  5. Porter Lansing

    Thank-you FDR for your pithy analysis of fascism … ownership of government by an individual. President elect Trump has business interests in EB-5? President elect Trump has business interests in the Dakota Access Pipeline? President elect Trump has outstanding loans to 400 foreign banks, mostly in Russia. FDR wouldn’t be amused.