With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided
As president, Donald Trump’s platform has centered on anti-immigrant policies; however, as a real estate tycoon, his businesses have thrived on the labor of undocumented workers. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement carrying out massive raids across the country, some media are asking why the agency hasn’t busted any of Trump’s properties, despite its striking record of making unauthorized hires.
To be clear, outlets aren’t calling for more raids of undocumented workers but rather spotlighting the hypocrisy of a president who monetarily benefits from the very labor his administration controversially and violently resolves to stamp out.
When asked about Trump’s businesses seeming to be immune from investigation, CBP has remained silent on the issue.
During CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan why ICE, which Morgan headed until last month, hadn’t conducted any raids or investigations into Trump’s clubs and hotels given multiple reports that the properties employ undocumented people.
“You really can’t say that for sure,” Morgan said, evading questions about the validity of the claims made against Trump’s businesses. “There are investigations going on all the time that you’re unaware of. … Of course, it’s going to jeopardize the investigation if I come on here and I talk to you about an investigation that’s going on.”
According to undocumented workers who have been employed by Trump, the president was aware of their immigration status.
Since 2015, when Trump announced his bid for presidency, journalists have reported on the mendacity of a then-candidate calling the people who built his real estate empire “rapists” and “drug-runners.” Since taking office, more news has circulated on the president’s use of undocumented immigrant labor.
Last December, the New York Times interviewed undocumented housekeeper Victorina Morales, who had been working at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. In the article, the Guatemalan woman disclosed that employers were aware of her immigration status when she was hired in 2013 and instructed her to use phony papers in an effort to swindle the system.
The news was particularly damning at the time as the president was calling for the expansion of E-Verify, an online tool by the federal government that checks whether employees are legally eligible to work. According to a later report by the Washington Post, not only were several of his properties not using the tool but they were also informing people on how to illegally fake documents to get hired.
In May, CNN spoke with 19 undocumented immigrants who previously worked for Trump and noted that the president was undoubtedly aware of their status and employment.
“Some of these employees were the most-trusted employees of the Trump family. They’ve been working there for 10, 15 years,” Anibal Romero, a lawyer representing 38 immigrants who were undocumented while working at the Trump property, said during the segment. “Some of my clients had the keys to Eric Trump’s house in Westchester, New York.”
More recently, the Washington Post reported that many construction crews at Trump properties were made up of undocumented workers. The news came not long after Eric Trump announced that the company was making a “broad effort” to fire unauthorized workers. In the article, one employee noted that his supervisor also told him how to buy fake paperwork on a street corner in New York.
The reason why businessman Trump participates in the “immigration problem” he rails against as president is simple: it gives his company a competitive advantage.
Not only are undocumented laborers paid less but they are also less likely to quit due to limited employment opportunities and not as likely to complain if they are being mistreated, as many are.
With evidence that employers are oftentimes very aware of the immigration status of their undocumented laborers, Tapper asked Morgan why companies who hire unauthorized workers are not punished along with the workers themselves. According to a Syracuse University report that the host cited, only 11 people and no companies were prosecuted for employing undocumented workers between the spring of 2018 and 2019. During the same time, 85,727 people were prosecuted for entering the US illegally.
Morgan responded that an investigation into at least one of the businesses that employs undocumented workers is ongoing.
The interview came days after ICE raided a Mississippi chicken processing plant. The massive bust, which arrested 680 people suspected of being undocumented workers and ripped apart hundreds of families, was the largest worksite takedown in US history. No employers have currently been arrested.