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Trump Winery Can’t Find American Workers, Applies for 29 H-2A Visas

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We’ve spent a lot of time writing about the impact of Trump’s immigration agenda on immigrant agricultural workers, how these workers do jobs that Americans don’t want to do, and how the agricultural industry suffers whenever there’s a crackdown on immigrants. The latest person to learn this lesson seems to be Eric Trump, who owns Trump Winery in Virginia and is having trouble finding American workers who want to pick grapes. Of course, this plays out against the backdrop of Eric’s father vowing to only hire Americans. In fact, just last night in Kentucky, Donald Trump said, “We believe in two simple rules: buy American, and hire American.”

Not sure who the “we” is there, but it’s not Trump and his businesses — as we’ve seen with construction at Trump Tower and Mar-A-Lago. Eric Trump’s Virginia winery initially assumed it would be flooded with American applicants for its jobs, but received no such submissions. Despite Donald Trump’s exhortations to hire American, the winery is now applying to bring in 29 foreign seasonal workers through the H-2A visa program — and challenging those who complain by asking if they’re interested in the job. In other words, the Trump family is going through what countless farms across the country are experiencing. We know the Trump family really isn’t one for reflection, but ideally this experience would show Trump & co to how vital immigrant workers are to the United States. And, it should reveal to the rest of America to the hypocrisy that abounds about immigrant workers, who come here to fill unfillable positions — and are demonized for it.

Read the article about Trump winery in full here or below:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A Virginia winery owned by President Donald Trump’s son has applied to hire foreign workers to pick grapes after the company was unable to find U.S. citizens who want the job.

Trump Vineyard Estates, better known as Trump Winery, has asked to bring in 29 workers this season through the federal H-2A visa program, The Daily Progress reported.

The Charlottesville-area winery is owned by Eric Trump, whose father has called on businesses to hire Americans.

The H-2A program enables agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or other temporary or seasonal services. To apply, employers say they’ve been unable to find American citizens to fill the jobs. At least three other local vineyards also applied to hire foreign workers.

“It’s difficult to find people,” said Libby Whitley, an attorney who has worked with employers, including Trump Winery.

Trump Vineyard Estates had initially applied for six foreign workers in December. Two months later, the company applied for 23 more. Both job orders for Trump Vineyard Estates say the primary tasks include planting and cultivating vines, adding grow tubes and pruning grape vines.

H-2A workers and U.S. workers in corresponding employment must be paid a certain rate — $10.72 an hour for vineyard farm workers in Virginia this year.

Whitely said she assumed her company would be flooded with people applying for the jobs because of all the media coverage Trump Winery has received for using the H-2A program.

“Guess how many applicants we had? … 13,” she said. “And they were all from places like the Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria. We did not have one American worker apply on (the first job order).”

Several people have sent emails to show they are outraged that Trump winery is hiring foreigners, Whitley said.

“I qualify every one of those responses and I say, ‘Are you interested in the job? If you are, please get in touch with us immediately,’” Whitley said.

Trump Winery didn’t respond to a request for comment.