They are just purchasing residency and citizenship as a convenience, as a bolt-hole in an emergency, and access to welfare and other benefits.
Bloomberg Business Week November 22, 2011
Education for the kids, clean air, and rule of law are luring wealthy families to emigrate
Self-made millionaire Li Weijie runs his own ski and golf resort outside Beijing and considers himself a patriot: A lifesize statue of Mao Zedong on a four-meter base towers over the entrance to his resort. What would Chairman Mao say if he knew Li was the proud holder of a Canadian residency card? “I wanted access to the education system and health care of a developed country,” says Li, 43, whose other businesses include one of Beijing’s largest private taxi companies, twocar dealerships, and a real estate company. Li now has a $6 million house on Vancouver’s Westside, known for its rich Chinese. His wife tools around Vancouver in a black Maybach while his 20-year-old son drives a dark gray Maserati to classes at the University of British Columbia. His wife and son live in Canada full-time...
In the U.S. so far this year almost 3,000 Chinese citizens have applied for investor visas, up from 270 in 2007. That’s 78 percent of the total applicant pool for this type of visa, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The U.S. investor visa, also known as the EB-5, requires a minimum investment of $500,000 by the applicant in a commercial project in the U.S. that employs at least 10 Americans within two years. If the Chinese applicants can’t generate those jobs, they and their family may have to leave the U.S...
Buying Maybachs and Maserattis aren't helping our economy much. And it is unlikely they will be deported given that they are not a "priority" for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It appears that residency or citizenship are just for convenience. No loyalty or love of an adopted country, just a bolt-hole in an emergency:
For the most part, China’s richest aren’t permanently fleeing their country, as some Russian oligarchs have. About 80 percent of the wealthy Chinese emigrating don’t plan on giving up their passports, according to an October survey by the Bank of China and Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which publishes an annual ranking of China’s richest people. Instead, the most common model is that of Li Weijie: Wife and child get foreign passports and live abroad, husband gets a residency permit but spends most of his time in China. “If you think of emigrating like Russians, it is because they are afraid and so are leaving their country,” says Hurun’s founder, Rupert Hoogewerf. “This is not true of the wealthy Chinese at all. They still have their businesses in China and most of their assets are in yuan...”
Moving a family abroad and obtaining foreign residency cards could also prove useful in case of sudden legal or policy shifts that hurt entrepreneurs, or if social unrest reaches a boiling point...
It must be noted, that those with residency in the United States must actually live here, not commute or use a green card as an escape mechanism. Residency and citizenship here are supposed to be something more than a bolt-hole.
A serious issue for both the Chinese applicants and their prospective host countries is the origin of their wealth. To ensure that those with criminal backgrounds aren’t let in, and to make sure they’re truly affluent, officials of the U.S., Canada, and other countries want thorough documentation of their assets. That can be difficult. “Wealthy Chinese almost all have a history of evading taxes,” says Gao Tong, who emigrated to Boston six years ago and is now setting up his own immigration services company called Harmonia Capital USA, with his brother, a wealthy Shanghai businessman. “They fear getting caught if they have to report their income globally.”
Some middlemen collude with clients to forge documents, say Well Trend executives, since many émigrés don’t have papers to prove the origin of their finances, or they may have gotten rich through illicit means. “There are more than a few bad apples,” says Victor Lum, a vice-president at Well Trend and a former Canadian visa official. “USCIS takes allegations regarding EB-5 program malfeasance very seriously,” USCIS spokesman Christopher Bentley wrote in an e-mail...
And a clear statement of patriotism to their adopted country:
And while rich Chinese still crave Canadian or U.S. degrees for their children, they may see less reason to emigrate. “When I first went to Canada, I thought China was very backward and it would take 50 years for us to catch up,” says Li. “After 10 years, we can all see that China will absolutely surpass the rest of the world.”
And Hugh Hewitt and the WSJ think these people will grow the economy out of the recession. They are only in it for themselves. Such greedy crooks are not going to be building much here if they really want to go back to China.