Donald Trump may say he wants to put a halt to illegal immigration. However, when it comes to foreign guest workers taking jobs at his Florida resorts and clubs, he’s a little more tolerant.
The New York Times reports that since 2010 at Donald Trump’s 17-acre Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida:
“[N]early 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.”
Trump sought 500 visas, which last between 10 months and 3 years, for vacancies at Mar-a-Lago and his other Florida properties since 2010, mostly for workers from Europe out of hospitality colleges.
The program seeks to fill temporary positions when American workers fail to bite the bait, or all the potential applicants are unemployable. However, the Times piece notes instances where applicants were told they interviewed well, but never heard back.
These temporary worker visa programs have been under a microscope in recent months. This past summer, under one of these visa programs, Disney World terminated 250 American employees in favor of new temporary guest workers.
While Trump made a promise to hire 50 locals following a Reuters report last summer, the New York Times also reports that Mar-a-Lago has only filled one position.
Meanwhile, Trump has stoked controversy for his stance on immigration along the campaign trail.
His own immigration proposal says:
“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 … Every year, we voluntarily admit another 2 million new immigrants, guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants. We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers[.]”
Unlike American workers, who may not be inclined to stay throughout the entirety of the Mar-a-Lago season, these guest workers cannot “switch to another resort down the road where the pay is better without a new visa approval.”