News & Politics

Donald Trump: Champion of Foreign Workers in America

(AP Photo/Matthew Holst)

To the legions of Trumpbots, nothing he says or does will change their mind about him, so running an article that shows once again what a bald-faced hypocrite he is won’t matter a whit.

Still, it’s amusing when Trump is caught with his pants down — especially on the issue of immigration. According to the New York Times, Trump chose to staff his private club in Florida with foreign workers he arranged to come to the U.S. using the “H” visa program despite 300 Americans applying for those jobs.

Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach describes itself as “one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world,” and it is not just the very-well-to-do who want to get in.

Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers there. But according to federal records, only 17 have been hired.

In all but a handful of cases, Mar-a-Lago sought to fill the jobs with hundreds of foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries.

In his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Trump has stoked his crowds by promising to bring back jobs that have been snatched by illegal immigrants or outsourced by corporations, and voters worried about immigration have been his strongest backers.

But he has also pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago since 2010, according to the United States Department of Labor, while hundreds of domestic applicants failed to get the same jobs.

The visas are issued through one of a handful of legal and often-debated programs through which employers can temporarily hire foreign workers when American labor is not available. As part of its applications for the visas submitted to the Labor Department, Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago attested that in the vast majority of cases it was unable to fill the positions with American workers, or, as he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in September, “getting help in Palm Beach during the season is almost impossible.”

Except in this case, 300 Americans were ready and willing to work, but Trump chose to hire cheaper, foreign labor.

Charles Cooke of NRO:

So what’s Trump’s excuse? That’s he’s a businessman and that these are the realities on the ground? That, I’m afraid, won’t wash. When Disney behaved like this, there was a loud and sustained outcry from . . . well, no less than Donald Trump himself.

In an interview with Breitbart, Trump argued that Disney should be forced to rehire any Americans it had overlooked or replaced. Trump also said this:

If I am President, I will not issue any H-1B visas to companies that replace American workers and my Department of Justice will pursue action against them.

And he offered this critique of expanding the “H” program:

It would allow any company in America to replace any worker with cheaper foreign labor. It legalizes job theft. It gives companies the legal right to pass over Americans, displace Americans, or directly replace Americans for good-paying middle class jobs.

This attitude is is a popular one among Trump’s supporters. Indeed, Breitbart’s emissary to the Trump campaign, Matthew Boyle, has argued that “what Disney did — with the help of the U.S. government’s lax H1B immigration and visa policies — was awful.” Moreover, he has praised Trump for supposedly standing against it:

This is perhaps one of the most under-discussed issues in the 2016 GOP presidential primary election. Frontrunner Donald Trump’s immigration reform plan details exactly how he would fix this problem if he’s elected president.

He wants to “increase” the “prevailing wage for H-1Bs,” one subsection of his plan lays out.

Trump also wants a “requirement to hire American workers first.”

And yet, by Trump’s own logic, the H-2B program that he so heavily used is even more egregious than the H-1Bs system that Disney took advantage of. Why? Well, because unlike H-1Bs — which can in theory be used to recruit skilled workers — H-2Bs are aimed directly at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Last month, Trump made the observation that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” He reiterated that sentiment yesterday. So a revelation like this is hardly the silver bullet that would take him down.

But it’s interesting that his most rabid supporters are so oblivious to the reality that is Donald Trump that they would probably thank him if he replaced them with a foreign worker.