Facing a deadline to get a green card or go home, Chinese immigrant Xiaoyu “Hugh” Hou narrowed his options to two: Marry an American or come up with $500,000 to invest in a jobs project.
“I don’t want to get married. It’s not my lifestyle,” said the 32-year-old tech entrepreneur, now living in Santa Monica. “I asked my mom for the money.”
Five years after he lent mother’s half-million to a San Bernardino redevelopment project, Hou got her money back, plus interest. And, he became a U.S. citizen.
There’s a long line to enter “the golden door,” as the gateway to America is known in a poem at the Statue of Liberty. But immigrants like Hou are finding a shortcut: investing in real estate.
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