One of the advantages South Dakota’s EB-5 visa investment recruitment efforts enjoyed was that recruiters could tell investors in projects like Northern Beef Packers and the Iberdrola Buffalo Ridge II wind farm that our EB-5 Regional Center could claim the imprimatur of South Dakota state government. South Dakota’s EB-5 program wasn’t just another private profiteer; it was a reliable public agency, using the official state logo in its offering memoranda. Our EB-5 projects enjoyed loans and guarantees from the state. Foreign investors could be assured that the state government would actively monitor the EB-5 program and keep everything on the up and up. Our EB-5 recruiters could entice investors into Northern Beef Packers by touting the backing of Governor M. Michael Rounds via his overhyped and ill-fated South Dakota Certified Beef program. Governor M. Michael Rounds himself signed a letter to investors on his official stationery, under the state seal, inviting foreigners to invest in our EB-5 projects.
The Trump family has apparently taken notes from South Dakota’s EB-5 program. The recruiter soliciting more Chinese investors for Trump/Kushner projects is straight-up telling their marks that the President of the United States himself will make sure their investments in Kushner properties pan out:
For Chinese citizens, American green cards can be notoriously difficult to obtain. But a Beijing immigration company called Qiaowai tells visa applicants of a secret weapon: It is working on behalf of a real estate firm owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.
“They said the president would make sure it came through,” said Lu Ling, a technology executive in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. “They said there was no chance it could fail” [Javier C. Hernández and Jesse Drucker, “How to Woo Chinese Investors: With Vias Offers and the Trump Name,” New York Times, 2017.05.19].
EB-5 investments are supposed to be at risk, and EB-5 rules say recruiters may not promise green cards or returns on investment. Qiaowai, like Trump, has been making such heedless and illegal promises about the EB-5 projects it promotes since at least 2010.
Qiaowai—侨外, which Google translates as “Overseas Chinese”—hosted EB-5 recruitment events for the South Dakota Regional Center in August 2010. South Dakota’s freshly self-privatized EB-5 czar Joop Bollen and former USCIS EB-5 official Maurice Berez helped Qiaowai tell Chinese investors how gosh-darn great investing in South Dakota projects would be. In his April 2014 deposition in the Darley v. SDIBI lawsuit, Bollen named Ding Ying, there cited as owner of GDOS but also CEO of Qiaowai/Overseas Chinese, as South Dakota’s EB-5 recruiter.