The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump’s Companies Don’t Mind Bringing in Foreign Labor as Maids, Cooks, and Wait Staff

In light of the new ad hitting Donald Trump on his past employment of illegal immigrants, it’s a shame he’s not expected to be at tonight’s debate. A moderator could ask him what he really thinks of the H-2B program, and why he found it so difficult to find American workers who were willing to be maids, cooks and wait staff.

The temporary work visa program through which Trump’s companies have sought the greatest numbers of workers, H-2B, brings in mostly workers from Mexico. Mexicans made up more than 80 percent of the 104,993 admissions to the United States on H-2B visas in 2013. The Trump companies have sought at least 850 H-2B visa workers.

The H-2B program, which receives little government oversight, is used by companies in sectors ranging from hospitality to forestry to hire foreign workers for temporary jobs. Companies must prove that the jobs are seasonal — and that they tried and failed to hire Americans.

U.S. government watchdogs have criticized the H-2B and H-2A programs over the years for failing to protect foreign and American workers alike…

The Mar-a-Lago, a luxury resort in Palm Beach, Florida, has sought the most foreign workers of the nine Trump businesses: 787 workers since 2006, according to the data.

This month, the resort filed paperwork seeking to bring in 70 foreign workers later this year on H-2B visas to serve as maids, cooks and wait staff, according to paperwork known as “job orders” published on the Labor Department’s web site.

In addition to the resort and the modeling agencies, the Trump-owned companies identified in the Reuters analysis were Jupiter Golf Club, Lamington Farm Club LLC, Trump Miami Resorts Management LLC, Trump National Golf Club LLC, Trump Payroll Chicago LLC and Trump Vineyard Estates LLC.

A cynic might look at that and conclude Trump is just playing to the cameras when he talks about immigration and American workers, and that he’s perfectly fine with bringing in workers from overseas, and that he appreciates importing foreign workers because that helps keep wages down . . . but that would be cynical.

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