Donald Trump continues to hire foreign workers on H-2B visas and H-1B visas

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Recent revelations confirm Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's hypocritical behaviour concerning immigration in the United States.  It was reported by BuzzFeed News on Wednesday 27 July that Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the nearby Trump National Golf Club, in Jupiter, just north of Palm Beach, are looking to hire 78 foreign workers on H-2B visas. 

In February of this year, the New York Times reported that the same club had hired hundreds of temporary migrant workers. Trump claimed at the time that the business does not have a choice as it cannot find enough American employees who are willing to work during the hot season. Federal data analysed by Reuters shows that the luxury resort, with a $100,000 membership fee and a $14,000 yearly maintenance fee, has sought 787 foreign workers since 2006.

There are also recent allegations that Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump worked illegally in the US in 1996 before obtaining an H-1B visa. In addition the Trump Model Agency employs models on H-1B visas.   A visa that Donald Trump says he opposes. 

That Trump’s businesses rely on foreign labour, and that he directly defends the practice, contradicts his harsh campaign rhetoric.  The 'Positioning: Immigration Reform' section of his Website includes the statement: “The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans — including immigrants themselves and their children — to earn a middle class wage.”

Sanwar Ali, Editor of News reviews Donald Trump's record on Immigration

Trump companies have employed thousands of immigrants over the years on visas such as the H-2B visa and H-1B visa.  There is also the Trump Tower scandal.   In the summer of 1980 badly paid Polish illegal immigrants working in unsafe conditions demolished a building to make way for Trump Tower in New York.  This is now where Trump lives and where the Trump campaign headquarters is located.  Donald Trump’s wives are all from overseas.  Many might think that Trump’s apparent hardline stance on immigration is just an attempt to get votes.   It is interesting to note that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups that support Trump do not mention his long history of employing overseas workers on visas.  Trump also does not mention that some of these extreme right wing groups that support Trump for President  most likely have people within their ranks who support terrorism.

Trump For America Campaign does not mention thousands of immigrants employed by Trump Companies

The Reuters analysis, published in August 2015, reveals that, since 2000, Trump companies have applied for more than 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas. The vast majority of the applications were approved.

Trump's campaign to become U.S. president is partly based on a promise to protect American jobs. He has generated an image of himself as championing the American worker, consistently reiterating his future effort, upon winning the Presidency, to restore and preserve livelihoods that are threatened by illegal foreign employees and the foreign outsourcing of U.S. jobs. His pledge to “put American workers first” is more often than not supported by a simplistic attack on President Obama's unemployment figures.

When announcing his candidacy on June 16  2015, Trump declared: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created [...] I will bring back our jobs from China, Mexico and other places. I will bring back jobs and our money."

The H-2B Visa program

The temporary work visa programme that Trump's companies use to bring in workers, most of whom are from Mexico. In the same June 16 speech, Trump first disclosed his racist shock tactic in singling out Mexican immigrants to the U.S.: "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," he said in the speech. "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."

U.S. Department of Labor records do not specify the nationality of the foreign workers sought by companies, but the Reuters investigation found out that the H-2B programme imports mostly Mexican workers; they constituted  over 80 percent of the 104,993 admissions to the United States on H-2B visas in 2013.

The H-2B visa programme has been criticised for being poorly monitored. Companies must prove that the jobs are seasonal, and that they initially tried and failed to hire American workers. The programme operates on the key stipulation that “there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work,” in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security.

Since 2010, nearly 300 U.S. residents applied or were referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers at the Mar-a-Lago, but only 17 were hired, according to  the New York Times. CBSMiami reports that over the same time period, 500 visas for foreign workers were filed at Mar-a-Lago. 

Bloomberg on the attack against Donald Trump

The former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, attacked Trump’s employment practices while speaking at the Democratic National Convention, just as these latest revelations were brought to light: “Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!”

As throughout his campaign, and especially in the aftermath of these recurring immigration anomalies, the Trump campaign headquarters, the businessman's lawyer, and the Mar-a-Lago Club have not been available for comment.