Even the most passive of observers looking in on the present election cycle are likely aware that a hardline stance on illegal immigration is a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. But a recent report by the New York Times suggests that there are stark differences between Trump’s public statements on the matter of undocumented workers and his past and present business practices.
An article by writers Charles V. Bagli and Megan Twohey suggests that Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida – known as one of the most elite private clubs in the world – hires workers from outside of the United States as a matter of course. Further, workers from outside of America appear to be given preferential consideration to citizens of the United States. The report indicates that almost 300 Americans have applied for jobs at Mar-a-Lago since 2010, noting that only 17 of those applicants have been hired. At the same time. Mar-a-Lago has employed hundreds of “guest workers” from Romania and other countries.
The report explained that Donald Trump frequently utilizes a recruiter in Upstate New York who has an office in Romania, adding that the Eastern European nation serves as a “labor pool for many European countries.”
The New York Times cites records from the United States Department of Labor that purportedly show that the Trump-owned resort attempted to obtain work visas for over 500 workers since 2010 while scores of American workers were not considered for the same jobs.
The report is not the first situation in which Donald Trump has come under scrutiny for utilizing people from outside of America to develop and maintain his property. In 2015 The Daily Beast reported that a “small army of undocumented Polish workers” prepared land for the construction of the Trump Tower in Manhattan. The account goes back 35 years to the demolition of property that once stood where the Trump Tower would eventually inhabit, indicating that workers were expected to work lengthy shifts for low pay.
“The 200 demolition workers—nicknamed the Polish Brigade because of their home country—worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week with no overtime to knock down the old Bonwit Teller building and make room for Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan,” the report stated. “[T]he laborers were paid $5 an hour or less when they were paid at all. Some went unpaid after the contractor had financial troubles. A few never received even the paltry sum that was owed them for their dirty and hazardous efforts preceding the construction of Trump’s monument to his own wealth.”
In a lawsuit brought against the demolition company, Donald Trump, and others, former workers asserted that Trump’s employees made threats of deportation to the undocumented workers if they “caused trouble.” A judge found in favor of the Polish workers who filed the suit and after a series of appeals, the matter was settled in 1999.
Conservative media outlet Brietbart was critical of Donald Trump in their coverage of the Mar-a-Lago story, quoting C.W. Cooke, a prominent detractor of Trump, who described the GOP frontrunner as “a rank hypocrite on immigration.” Campaign staff for Florida Senator Marco Rubio circulated the story in an effort to accentuate the real estate mogul’s inconsistencies on undocumented laborers. Rubio himself also raised the controversy surrounding Mar-a-Lago as well as the story of the Polish Brigade during Thursday night’s debate, but the topics were largely dismissed by Donald Trump.
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