Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is dead-set against immigrants "stealing" jobs from American-born workers — except at his own businesses. The Trump Organisation is thought to have recently filed documents seeking 78 visas so immigrants work at his Florida golf resorts.
The paperwork, filed in early July, reportedly seeks H-2B visas for non-agricultural low-skilled workers such as housekeepers, cooks and restaurant servers at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.
Ironically, the vast majority of workers in the US on H-2B visas and the agriculture work version, H-2A, are young Mexican men, the same group Trump has branded as "criminals and rapists."
It's hardly the first time Trump has hired an immigrant workforce. A number of his construction projects have been built using foreign labour.
A cornerstone of Trump's campaign has been his call to put America "back to work" and to shut out immigrants. Last year he told CNN he would block new visas forcing employers to hire "native workers."
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the candidate in his speech at the Democratic National Convention for his "hypocrisy."
Donald Trump "says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages," Bloomberg said.
As part of the application for the "guest worker" visas at the golf resorts, employers must make a case for why they are necessary. The Trump company application claims there are no American-born residents willing to take the work.
But a Florida employment agency official told BuzzFeed that he had "hundreds" of eager workers qualified to take the jobs. An agency database has the names of 1,327 Palm Beach County residents alone looking for such positions.
Since 2010, nearly 300 US residents applied or were referred for jobs at Mar-A-Lago, but only 17 were hired, the New York Times reported early this year. In that same period, Mar-A-Lago sought more than 500 visas for foreign workers.
The US Labor Department approved 685 H-2B visas for the Mar-A-Lago Club between 2008 and 2015, according to Polifact. Reuters reported in 2015 that Trump companies had sought to bring in 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000.
Before filing for the recent 78 visas, Trump organisations had already obtained 149 guest work visas just since Trump began his campaign, according to Buzzfeed.