As Donald Trump continues to campaign on a platform of restoring American jobs, companies he owns or that bear his name continue to apply for permission to import foreign workers for positions at resorts and golf courses from New York to Florida.
On Friday, the Department of Labor posted a petition from the Trump International Beach Resort, in Sunny Isles Beach near Miami, Florida, to import temporary workers. The resort, which licenses Trump’s name but is owned by the International Resorts Management Group, asked for permission to bring in 20 waiters and waitresses, claiming no Americans wanted the jobs. The positions pay $10.36 an hour plus tips.
In addition to this latest request, companies owned by Trump or bearing his name have already sought permission from the Department of Labor to hire at least 227 foreign guest workers since he launched his presidential campaign.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did officials at the beach resort. In the past, Trump has said it is “almost impossible” to find Americans who want such jobs.
“You can’t get help,” Trump told MSNBC last year when asked about his use of the program.
Officials at a career services agency in South Florida, which helps place Americans in jobs in the resort industry, have not always seen the same employment picture. Tom Veenstra, a senior director at CareerSource Palm Beach County, a workforce development agency chartered by the state of Florida, has said in the past that his office has hundreds of U.S. workers in a database who would qualify for hospitality jobs. He also told BuzzFeed News last month that other Trump properties have failed to avail themselves of free recruitment efforts that might help them find qualified American workers who want the jobs.
H-2 visas allow employers to bring people from other countries into the US as “guest workers” to fill temporary positions. One of the strictest rules of the H-2 program is that American workers be given preference in hiring. Companies seeking these visas are also required by law to show that they already tried, but failed, to find Americans for the job.
Previous BuzzFeed News investigations have found that many US companies go to extraordinary lengths to avoid hiring Americans so they can bring in foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.
Trump companies appear to have followed recruitment rules when seeking guest workers, posting those positions in the state online job board and placing ads, as required, with local newspapers such as the Palm Beach Post.
Jessica Garrison is a senior investigative editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
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