News and Commentary

Did Donald Trump Use Illegal Labor? Yup.

On more than two major construction projects, Republican presidential candidate and real estate developer Donald Trump has reportedly exploited illegal immigrants to keep costs down.

Trump’s most treasured new building, Trump International Hotel, a luxury complex that sits on the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion in the heart of Washington D.C., was allegedly built by an amalgam of legal and illegal immigrants from various regions in Latin America.

“Several of the men, who hail mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, have earned U.S. citizenship or legal status through immigration programs targeting Central Americans fleeing civil wars or natural disasters,” reports The Washington Post in an extensive report on Trump International. “Others quietly acknowledged that they remain in the country illegally.”

Workers on the hotel site were perplexed by Trump’s recent hostility toward illegals, given how much he relies on their labor. “It’s something ironic,” a 29-year-old Mexican immigrant at the site told The Post. “The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally,” Arellano said in Spanish.

The Post adds:

Interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the Old Post Office Pavilion revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled in the Washington region to build new lives.

Trump the businessman appears to be different person than Trump the politician. In Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, an aptly-titled book that likely anticipates the real estate mogul’s run for the presidency, Trump writes, “illegal immigration is a wrecking ball aimed at U.S. Taxpayers.”

If true, Trump, himself, has smashed one wrecking after another at U.S. taxpayers throughout his years as a real estate developer. While campaign Trump may call Mexicans “rapists,” business Trump may actually prefer to hire “foreign” laborers.

“In response to a question about his hiring foreign workers over Americans to staff his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, billionaire businessman Donald Trump claimed it is ‘impossible’ to find Americans willing to take the jobs,” explains The Daily Caller. As a result, Trump reportedly sought “hundreds of foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries” instead, according to The New York Times.

These cases aren’t anomalies, but rather representative of the billionaire businessman’s unprincipled antics and apparent greed. Trump’s reliance on immigrant labor, both legal and illegal, is a habitual practice.

During Thursday night’s debate, Sen. Marco Rubio called attention to Trump’s exploitation of illegal Polish laborers 35 years ago. Rubio claimed that Trump was “fined $1 million for hiring Polish workers on one of his projects.” After telling his audience to Google these allegations and check for themselves, Rubio added, “He did it. That happened.”

Here, Rubio may even be understating what happened. The Daily Beast reports:

In 1980, Mr. Trump did hire around 200 undocumented Polish workers to demolish the Bonwit Teller Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to make way for the Trump Tower.

The workers later sued Mr. Trump, saying that they had been underpaid and mistreated. They said they received $4 to $5 an hour — if that — to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.

So far, Trump has dismissed relevant facts about his sordid history of business practice, choosing instead to attack his fellow candidates and detractors on the basis of appearance and moral character.

Some laborers “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,” according to The Daily Beast.

To Trump’s chagrin, Manhattan federal Judge Charles Stewart asserted that the Polish laborers were undocumented and worked “off the books,” adding that “No records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld.”

So far, Trump has dismissed relevant facts about his sordid history of business practice, choosing instead to attack his fellow candidates and detractors on the basis of appearance and moral character.

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