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The Growing Hypocrisy of the Trump Administration on Immigration Exposed

 

Trump’s hypocrisy, and the fallacy of the Trump and nativist worldview towards immigrants, are being exposed at his own golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

America relies on immigrants’ contributions and hard work, and yet Trump and his administration continue to target the immigrant community in a hypocritical manner. As Alan Gomez reported in an exclusive for USA Today titled, “Feds targeting more worksites crack down on undocumented workers – but not their employers”, the Trump administration has been punishing working immigrants while letting employers slide.

Below are a few new reminders of why it’s time our dated immigration policies caught up with the reality that immigrants strengthen both our communities and our economy.

Miriam Jordan at the New York Times explains that even Trump couldn’t manage his properties without the labor of undocumented workers. Her new article, 8 Million People Are Working Illegally in the U.S. Here’s Why That’s Unlikely to Change,” delves into the lives and impact of the workers at Trump’s properties and other businesses across the country:

They make beds in inns across the country. They pick oranges in Florida, strawberries in California and vegetables in Ohio. And they have built new subdivisions in Phoenix, Atlanta and Charlotte.

For years, policymakers have talked about shutting off the influx of undocumented workers. But the economy has grown to rely on them.

Ending illegal immigration, say many of those who have studied the issue, could mean that American workers would lose their jobs, companies would close and the economy would contract.

In recent years, though, border security has tightened considerably, a strong economy has driven down unemployment, and many employers, particularly those offering low-paid jobs, say there are few alternatives to hiring workers without legal documents.

… “Our economy has absorbed these workers and employers would like more of them, given the low unemployment rate,” said Madeline Zavodny, an economist at the University of North Florida who is an expert on the economics of immigration.

… “These workers are often long-tenured and skilled,” said Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of industry advocacy and research at AmericanHort, which represents the nursery industry. “They are nothing short of vital to farms, businesses, and rural economies.”

“Each job they perform sustains two to three jobs in the surrounding economy, so even though few Americans seek this field and farm work, the jobs of many Americans and many communities are sustained by their contributions.”

In Vox, Alexia Fernández Campbell focuses on Trump’s hypocrisy in a piece titled, “The hypocrisy of Trump’s immigration agenda is getting harder to ignore.” The article is excerpted below and available in full here.

President Donald Trump has some pretty strong opinions about black and brown immigrants.

He’s described Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists.” He’s said Haitians in the United States “all have AIDS.” He’s banned visitors from seven Muslim countries to keep out “bad and dangerous people.” And he’s called undocumented immigrants from countries in Latin America “animals.”

Despite the racist undertones, Trump has framed his anti-immigrant agenda as an effort to put “America First.” He’s accused immigrants of taking jobs away from Americans, lowering wages, and costing the US government billions of dollars. So he justifies cutting legal immigration and pushing for a border wall as a way to relieve American taxpayers and workers from the burden he says immigrants pose to the country.

This myth keeps getting harder for him to justify. Trump’s own businesses, and his presidency, have made it clear that low-skilled immigrants are a crucial part of the US economy and even the federal government.

In the past few days, four women from Central America have come forward to say that they’ve been working illegally at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. One employee from Guatemala, Victorina Morales, told the New York Times that she washes the president’s clothes and cleans his private suite every time he visits the club. (The Trump Organization says it has not knowingly hired unauthorized immigrants).

The fact that Trump’s businesses rely on undocumented workers while the president himself rails against them highlights his hypocrisy on immigration. Here are two more examples.

… The Trump administration’s first two years in office has been defined by efforts to curtail nearly every avenue of immigration into the United States (both legal and illegal) and to restrict visas available for temporary foreign workers. The one exception is a visa program that benefits the Trump Organization.

The H-2B visa program, which several Trump golf clubs use to hire workers, is the one visa program that Trump has expanded during his presidency. The H-2B visa program allows seasonal, non-agricultural employers — like hotels and ski resorts — to hire foreign workers when they can’t find American ones. Most of the workers in the program come from Mexico, and the Trump Organization is a regular employer of H-2B workers.

The company has hired hundreds of foreign workers through the visa program in recent years to cook, clean, and serve patrons at Trump clubs in Florida and New York, including the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

To get permission to hire workers under the H-2B program, hiring managers need to show that they were unable to find US workers to take the jobs. The people who manage Trump’s properties say it’s too hard to find local workers to take these jobs.

… The fact that Trump personally benefits from the Central American workers he disparages in public makes it increasingly difficult to take his anti-immigrant agenda seriously.

That hypocrisy is what led undocumented workers like Victorina Morales to come forward in recent days, even though it could lead to their deportation. She said she could no longer stay silent.

“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” Morales told the New York Times. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”

It may be hard to find another housekeeper to replace Morales. The unemployment rate is lower than it’s been in 49 years, so there aren’t too many Americans desperate for work. If anything, employers are having trouble finding enough low-skilled workers to fill jobs. But that doesn’t seem to bother Trump; he’s still dreaming of building that border wall.