Proposed NY 'China City' Seen as Green Card Scam

Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 08:30 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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A multibillion dollar “China City” complex proposed in New York’s Catskills Mountains that calls for $65 million in possible federal funding may actually be a stalking horse for communist Beijing, Fox News reports.

The proposed development in the small town of Thompson, population 15,308, would encompass 600 acres and include a college, 1,000 residences, a “Chinese Disneyland,” a Chinese-themed retail center, huge mansions, a “Forbidden City” laid out according to the principles of Feng Shui, and possibly a casino, the New York Post also reported.

Long Island businesswoman Sherry Li, president of The China City of America, told The Post the development would eventually bring $6 billion in foreign investment.

“We can kind of view it as a Chinese concept of Disney — so it’s going to have lot of attractions for families,” she said.

There is suspicion, however, that China City is nothing more than a green card scam to bring in Chinese immigrants. Under the federal EB-5 program, visas are set aside for foreign investors in “new commercial enterprise” regional centers designated by U.S. immigration officials.

“This is kind of a combination of pie-in-the-sky and ethnic solidarity and showmanship and a federal program that sort of facilitates this sort of thing. It’s really an odd mix,” David North, who authored a new report picking apart China City’s proposal for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Post.

He also told Fox News that the project, which he described as bordering on the bizarre, is "a kind of perfect storm of problems. In his report, North wrote that the mysterious project has initiated a charge from within the local Chinese community that "China City is a stalking horse for the Chinese communist government in Beijing."

A spokesman for United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services told Fox that an application for China City has been filed, but not yet approved.

China City developers tout the EB-5 program on its website and lists the benefits to investors, such as no need to speak English, no minimal education requirement and the ability for a husband and wife and any unmarried or adopted children under 21 to come to the U.S.

The project has stirred massive controversy in upstate New York and beyond. Local opposition in Thompson is building against it, but supporters say it would infuse cash into the depressed economy there as well as bring Chinese nationals who are “highly educated and skilled in different fields.”

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