Theory and practice

Meanwhile Trump sticks to his policy of hiring foreign workers for his own enterprises.

A Vox analysis of hiring records for seasonal workers at three Trump properties in New York and Florida revealed that only one out of 144 jobs went to a US worker from 2016 to the end of 2017. Foreign guest workers with H-2B visas got the rest.

Why would that be? Because they accept lower pay and crappier working conditions.

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. The Trump administration temporarily expanded this guest-worker program in 2017 while restricting other avenues of legal immigration, including the H-1B program for high-skilled workers.

The Trump Organization is exactly the kind of company that relies on the H-2B visa program for low-skilled workers.

And Trump is exactly the kind of human who is eager to pay his employees as little as possible.

Under the H-2B program, employers must first try to hire American workers — or legal immigrants already in the United States — at reasonable wages for their openings. If they can’t find qualified US workers, then employers can ask the Department of Labor for permission to hire foreign guest workers on H-2B visas. Documents show that hiring managers at the Trump establishments made the minimum efforts required by law to recruit US workers.

Remember that story last year? In which the Mar-a-Lago managers put a tiny ad in one obscure paper for about 5 minutes, and that was it. Also they interviewed one American worker but did not hire her.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for immigration restrictions, said he was “displeased” when Trump temporarily expanded the H-2B program in 2017. He said Mar-a-Lago is just using the program how other employers use it: as a way to avoid paying higher wages or offering more benefits to attract American workers.

“It’s a bullshit law written to ensure that employers don’t have to hire Americans,” said Krikorian, who normally applauds the president’s immigration agenda.

No doubt he still does; it’s the hiring practices he’s objecting to.

In the past five years, a few of Trump’s golf clubs and resorts on the East Coast have relied heavily on hiring foreign workers to serve patrons during the summer months (in New York) and the winter months (in Florida). The H-2B database shows requests from Mar-a-Lago dating back to 2013. This practice has clearly not stopped since Trump became president.

In fact, the Trump administration temporarily expanded the H-2B program. In July 2017, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for guest workers from 66,000 to 81,000 for fiscal year 2017. (Three days later, Trump’s properties asked for permission to hire 76 workers through the program.)

Tactful of him to wait three whole days.

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