Trump Org Applies for Foreign Workers on 'Made in America Week'

Claims it's impossible to find American workers to fill Mar-a-Lago positions
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2017 4:24 PM CDT
This week, the Trump Organization asked the federal government to grant dozens of special visas to foreign nationals to work at two of President Trump’s private clubs in Florida, including his Mar-a-Lago...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – The White House celebrated "Made in America Week" this week. So CBS News reports it "seem[s] to clash" that at the same time the Trump administration was touting American products and American jobs, President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club requested permission to hire 70 foreign workers under the H-2B visa program. Meanwhile, Trump's golf club in Jupiter, Florida, requested permission to hire six foreign workers. The requests were made to the Department of Labor and published online Thursday, according to the Washington Post. BuzzFeed reports the workers would fill positions as cooks, waiters, and housekeepers, earning between $10.33 and $13.34 per hour. The temporary foreign workers would be employed from October to May.

Mar-a-Lago claims it needs the H-2B visas because it can't find qualified American workers to fill the positions, and Trump has said it's "very, very hard to get help" during the tourist season in Florida. Trump's companies make frequent use of the H-2B visa program, and this week Trump said he was increasing the number of visas available nationwide by 15,000. The UN says the program puts workers at risk of everything from exploitation to trafficking, and a 2015 BuzzFeed investigation found exploitation of H-2B workers is common and workers are also sometimes subjected to physical and sexual violence. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said American workers "can rest easy knowing that they have a staunch defender in the White House." (Read more visas stories.)

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