In the early 1980s, Vargas fled her home country of El Salvador when her husband was killed during the nation’s civil war. After seeking asylum, she was smuggled into the U.S., in a small wooden box, thanks to the efforts of her children. Once here, Vargas remarried, had another child, got divorced, all while making ends meet with menial jobs. In 1996, Vargas received her U.S. citizenship, and a few years later she met the man who would become her husband, Jorge Alberto. Unfortunately, Jorge was deported back to El Salvador earlier this year, leaving their marriage’s future uncertain. And the cherry on top of all this bad luck? Vargas is currently saddled with $17,000 dollars in medical debt because her employer – Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas – refuses to sign a contract with the union she belongs to, which could have provided her with the benefits to cover her breast cancer surgery.
Don’t get it twisted, though. Vargas is anything but beaten.
Vargas is fighting to have her employer recognize her union, which has been an uphill battle. When Vargas and other co-workers began wearing union buttons in a show of solidarity, they were briefly suspended. Only after the Culinary Union 226 came to their defense, filing an “unfair labor practice” with the National Labor Relations, was Vargas allowed to return to work, still wearing her buttons. Without the Culinary Union 226, workers in situations similar to Vargas’ might end up on the streets or worse. Despite the backlash, Vargas isn’t deterred. She’ll keep on fighting through, and she’ll also cast her vote in Nevada, a state Donald Trump sorely needs to have any chance of winning, for Hillary Clinton.
Despite unprecedented economic losses that have left more than 30 million Americans without work and millions more working in unsafe conditions, Trump has his own priorities.
Since launching his presidential campaign in 2016 on the promise of building a glorious border wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, Trump has been obsessed with realizing this massive waste of tax payer dollars. Now he is renewing calls for the wall to be painted black and in what can simply be described as a cruel and wasteful move.
Donald Trump orders his border wall to be painted black to deter more migrants during the summer when it would be too hot to touch.
President Donald Trump has requested the border wall, one of his signature campaign promises, be painted black, a proposal that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new report.
The Washington Postreported that Trump had ordered the border wall to be painted black in order to make it look more imposing and to make it too hot to touch during the summer. Quoting anonymous administration officials, the Post reported Trump told his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner to assess cost estimates for the wall painting plan.
According to estimates, the cost of painting the wall black would range from $500 million for acrylic paint to over $3 billion for a “powder coating” on the wall.
The Democratic National Committee slammed the report, saying Trump “would rather let states go bankrupt than provide them more money to pay their teachers, police officers and firefighters, and fund services for the poor and elderly.”
He is reiterating the call for a black border wall despite a global health pandemic that has left millions infected and millions more without jobs.
As the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 rises to nearly 80,000 and the economy is in shambles, Trump has decided the border wall’s paint job is far more important. The president is insisting that the barrier’s steel slats be painted black, despite officials’ efforts to talk him out of it and $500 million in additional costs that the cosmetic feature is expected to add to the project’s already expensive price tag.
“POTUS has changed his mind and now wants the fence painted,” an official involved in the construction of the wall told the Post. “We are modifying contracts to add.”
It may seem odd to be fixated on the color of his border wall, given the hefty additional costs painting it black would impose on the project and the pandemic currently ravaging the country under his watch—but Trump at least has a good reason. According to the Post, he’s willing to further inflate the wall budget because he believes painting it black would “enhance its forbidding appearance” and “leave the steel too hot to touch during summer months.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has floated painting the border wall black, but officials thought they had talked him out of it last fall.
Reports have emerged in the past over Trump’s obsession with micromanaging the physical appearance of his famed border wall. In May 2019, a Post report revealed Trump had floated painting the ‘slats’ of the border wall a ‘flat black’ so the metal would absorb more heat from the sun and make it harder for people to scale.
Trump also said he wanted the border barrier to include metal spikes at the top that will cut climbers’ hands.
Fisher Sand and Gravel, a South Dakota-based company already being considered for a $400 million contract to build new portions of wall in Arizona, were consulted to provide estimates for painting. They provided the $500 million – $3 billion estimates for painting the structure’s 30-foot steel bollards depending on the option of paint, which the White House has not yet chosen.
Trump has renewed his call for the border wall and blamed migration on the Coronavirus pandemic – even though that’s 100% fake news.
In recent weeks, Trump has increased attention on his border wall project – labeling it a way to protect the country from the Coronavirus pandemic. According to his administration, the structure and the government’s cruel immigration policy have acted as a defense against coronavirus spreading into the U.S. from other countries.
‘Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic!’ Trump tweeted Tuesday.
‘They are sooo lucky that I am their President,’ he gloated. ‘Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built!’
However, the president seems to be ignoring the fact that the U.S. in the number one country in the world when it comes to Coronavirus infections and deaths. In fact, at the beginning of the global pandemic, Mexico had considered closing its border with the U.S. to prevent the spread of the disease from the U.S. into Mexico.
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In 2018, vineyards in Virginia had an unfortunate season. The area experienced too much rain. Local winemakers called it the “toughest” season in the past two decades and that the harsh weather made it, so they produced less wine because so many grapes were lost. This season, however — because climate change has brought forth such unpredictable weather forecasts — Virginia vineyards had a very successful season. With such a positive harvest, one would assume that vineyard workers would get some kind of bonus. Instead, they got fired.
Seven undocumented employees that worked at a Trump Virginia winery were fired before the end of the year because they were not U.S. citizens.
The Washington Post reports that the firing came at the end of December, before the start of 2020, which is odd timing considering other undocumented employees at other Trump properties almost a year ago.
Back at the start of 2019, undocumented employees that worked at a Trump golf course in New Jersey were fired for lack of documentation to work in the U.S. So far, most of the workers that were fired back then said that the higher-ups, including President Donald Trump and his children who own the properties, were aware that they had undocumented workers on their payroll. Even then, the firings were odd, considering the president has been on an anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, and anti-undocumented agenda since before his election. Yet all of the firings, even the most recent ones, seem to come when it’s most convenient for the company.
The undocumented workers were fired at the end of the harvest season when they had completed their work on the vineyard.
Workers told the Washington Post that while they had anxiety about losing their jobs all year, especially after other undocumented employees at other properties were fired. But work went on as usual at the vineyard. The workers also report that earlier in December, Eric Trump, who is listed as the president of some of the Trump properties, visited the vineyard and was very gracious to his employees. The Post was in touch with several of the undocumented employees for months prior to their firing.
“He gave me his hand,” Omar Miranda, one of the employees that was fired, recalled to the Post about Eric’s visit. Miranda had won a raffle, and Eric shook his hand and added, “Eric is like a co-worker.” Then, a couple of weeks later, he was fired.
The workers said that Trump, his family, and management knew exactly what they were doing when they waited to fire them after the grape season had ended.
“They didn’t make this decision in the summer because they needed us a lot then,” Miranda told the Post. Another employee said, “I think they wanted to get their product out well, the grapes, to make sure that was taken care of, and once things were slow, they could fire us all.”
The publication asked the Trump organization about why they waited so long to fire these undocumented employees, and their statement was the same as it was last year when they fired employees at the golf course: “Consistent with our efforts, we will immediately terminate any individual who has provided fake identification in order to unlawfully gain employment.”
People on social media expressed their anger over the timing of this firing as well as Trump’s treatment of their undocumented workers.
“Not only are trump companies still employing undocumented immigrants, they hold off firing them in order take advantage of their labor as long as possible,” another tweeted. “He has no shame.”
As we noted earlier, this season Virginia experienced one of the best grape seasons in years. So it makes sense management didn’t want to fire employees until after the harvest to take advantage of the booming business.
“You have the perfect alignment of rainfall, sun, wind, weather, to where the quality of your grapes are the highest you’ve seen in a really long time,” Winemaker Emily Pelton told WHSV3 News.
Perhaps if the season had been a washout as it was in 2018, the undocumented employees would have been fired earlier in the year. We guess there’s always a silver lining.