Society

Trump To Hire More Foreign Workers At Mar-a-Lago

| by Lauren Briggs

President-elect Donald Trump will hire seasonal foreign workers to staff his Mar-a-Lago club over the holidays, just as he did in 2015.

In October, the U.S. Labor Department approved the president-elect to hire 64 workers from overseas on guest worker visas under the H-2B program, reports the Palm Beach Post. The workers will earn comparable wages to the year before, with the majority of the positions getting a 1 percent raise and others earning slightly less than in 2015.

Trump will bring in 19 cooks at $12.74 an hour, 30 restaurant servers at $11.13 an hour and 15 housekeepers at $10.17 an hour. They will all receive higher overtime pay compared to the previous year.

Last year, the luxury resort in Palm Beach, Florida, hired 69 foreign workers under the same program after reportedly demonstrating to the labor department that there were no eligible candidates to fill those positions.

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Tom Veenstra, a spokesman for nonprofit job placement agency CareerSource Palm Beach County, said that there were "hundreds of qualified candidates" for the hospitality positions, though Trump has said before that "it's very, very hard to get people" and that "other hotels do the exact same thing."

Trump has spoken both for and against H-1B and H-2B visas to hire foreign workers throughout the course of his campaign, once saying that he is "in favor of people coming into this country legally" through any means.

"As far as the visas are concerned, if we need people, it's fine," Trump said during a Republican debate, according to The Washington Post. "They have to come into this country legally. We have a country of borders. We have a country of laws. We have to obey the laws. It's fine if they come in, but they have to come in legally."

But on his campaign website, Trump vowed to restrict foreign guest worker visas by raising the program's minimum wage and adding a recruitment requirement to discourage employers from using it as a first resort.

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"The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans — including immigrants themselves and their children — to earn a middle class wage," he proposed, according to The Washington Post. "We need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office not [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services]."

Sources: Palm Beach Post, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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