Donald Trump’s businesses, run by his children, have employed undocumented immigrants for years. After numerous media reports about these immigrants being mistreated and then fired, the president’s son Eric yesterday announced a new company policy to deal with the problem. He said that the Trump Organization now plans to institute the federal E-Verify program in every one of its golf clubs, hotels and resorts.
By using E-Verify Trump’s businesses will for the first time be able to determine that their new hires are legally eligible to work in the United States.
Trump’s businesses employ thousands of low-paid service workers in such jobs as housekeeping, cleaning and maintenance. Yesterday’s announcement by Eric Trump in effect is an admission that these businesses have never bothered to check if the employees they hire actually have the legal documents they need to be employed. It is the first acknowledgment by the president’s business that it failed to check the work status of all its employees.
This comes after Donald Trump’s bogus claims during his 2016 campaign that he was using E-Verify at all of his properties. While campaigning he also called for the program to be mandatory for all employers.
Complaints about illegal immigration were the cornerstone of Trump’s successful run for the presidency, yet there is now proof that he actually facilitated illegal immigration at his own far-flung businesses.
The announcement by the Trump Organization will not stop investigations by congressional Democrats who have called on FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to start a probe into whether the president’s company broke the law by hiring undocumented workers.
Trump’s new use of E-Verify points out the massive disconnect between his hard-line rhetoric on undocumented immigrants and the failure of his own business to check the legal status of its workers. This is just one more example of the cynicism and hypocrisy in Trump’s public rhetoric about immigration.
On Saturday the Washington Post had reported that about a dozen undocumented workers from Latin America employed by the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County — roughly half its wintertime staff — were fired amid new scrutiny of its hiring practices.
And the scandal is widening. CNN reported this morning that three other former Trump golf club workers have arrived in Washington to meet with Democratic members of Congress. They hope to get an investigation into Trump Organization hiring practices and protect them from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.