[Rushtalk] Trump's Mar-a-Lago hires hundreds of foreign workers - Mar. 18, 2016

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Sat Mar 26 23:06:25 MDT 2016


Trump's Mar-a-Lago hiring problem

Here's Donald Trump's dilemma: He is running for president on a platform
of bringing jobs back to the U.S. and making America Great again.

But at his private club in south Florida, he has filled his staff almost
exclusively with imported foreign workers. And he has been doing it for

The U.S. Department of Labor has confirmed to CNN that between 2013 and
fall 2015, Trump's Mar-a-Lago club posted 250 seasonal job openings and
filled just 4 of those jobs with American workers. The club requested
the rest of the staff be temporarily imported through the Federal
government's H-2B visa process. Basically, Mar-a-Lago brings in its
seasonal staff from overseas. 

Mar-a-Lago is a mansion that Donald Trump has turned into a members-only
private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The wife of New York stockbroker
E.F. Hutton built it in 1927. Mrs. Hutton, who would become Marjorie
Merriweather Post, used Mar-a-Lago as a winter retreat for her and her
wealthy Wall Street friends. Gilded in tile and other decorations, it
reeked of the opulence of the pre-Depression roaring 1920s: Think Great
Gatsby, flamboyant parties, poolside waiters. 

Mar-a-Lago, literally Sea-to-Lake in Spanish, became a National Historic
site in 1969. Post passed away in the early 1970s and the mansion was
turned over to the federal government to be used as a presidential
retreat. It didn't catch on, and was eventually placed on the market. 

Trump says he bought Mar-a-Lago in 1985 for $5 million. He then began
remodeling the 114-room mansion for use as his personal residence, and
in 1995, he opened the home as a club for the super wealthy escaping the
harsh winters of the north. Membership fees are $100,000 with annual
dues of $14,000. On its website, Mar-a-Lago is called "the greatest
mansion ever built." 

Mar-A-Lago is seasonal. It's open when it's too cold to play golf in
other parts of the country. And it closes when it's too hot to play golf
in southern Florida. And that, says Trump, makes it hard to find
American workers willing to fill full time service jobs for roughly
eight months a year. 

Related: What we know about Trump's money 

>From 2013 to 2015, Mar-a-Lago was approved to hire 246 foreign workers
by the U.S. Department of Labor with H-2B visas, which allow U.S.
employers to temporarily import foreign workers to fill non-agricultural
jobs that can't be filled with Americans. 

To get approval for H-2B visas, employers must prove they need extra
workers and that they made an effort to recruit domestic workers,
contacted everyone who responded to ads and hired all qualified
applicants. After receiving approval, employers must petition U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services to bring foreign, temporary workers
into the country. 

Trump has made the case that he couldn't find American workers. "It's
almost impossible to get help," the Republican presidential candidate
told CNN last month. "And part of the reason you can't get American
people is they want full time jobs." 

That is news to Tom Veenstra. He is senior director of support services
at the Palm Beach County CareerSource office. It's a free service that
links qualified job candidates with employers. And during the past two
years, the agency has placed more than 50,000 people in jobs in Palm
Beach County. Veenstra says he has no doubt he could fill Mar-a-Lago
with U.S. workers. 

"We have hundreds of qualified candidates for jobs like these," Veenstra
told CNN. "That's what we do here. We help place local residents into
jobs like those." 

Did Trump use the free service? Only once, Veenstra says. After
criticism about its hiring practices, Mar-a-Lago asked the Palm Beach
County CareerSource office to send over qualified candidates for a
single position. Veenstra says he sent four applicants, one was hired. 

Veenstra says there were no problems with the hire as far as he knows,
but they never had another request from Mar-a-Lago. 

Mar-a-Lago positions paid roughly $10 an hour for maids and housekeepers
going up to $13 an hour for cooks, and about $11 for waiters and

Related: Trump University controversy ... in 2 minutes 

The Department of Labor requires proof that an employer seeking to
import workers tried but failed to attract qualified U.S. workers. 

Records show Mar-a-Lago appears to have done the bare minimum required
by law. According to a CNN analysis of hundreds of pages of Labor
Department documents, Mar-a-Lago did not place advertisements in the
area's largest newspaper. Instead, ads were placed in a local paper with
a small circulation and the ads were routinely posted for just two days,
the minimum required by law. 

In addition, employer statements on recruitment reports are
self-reported, and federal employees told CNN that the Department of
Labor does not have the resources to check the accuracy of them. 

mar a lago renee

Renee Seymore did apply to one of the job postings. She is a 22 year-old
with experience as a waitress, and says she told Trump's staff she would
have had no problems accepting a seasonal position at Mar-a-Lago. She
was never hired. In fact, she says she was never even formally turned
down for the job. 

After an in-person interview, Seymore waited for a phone call that never
came. "No message, no email, no nothin'," she explained to CNN. "I
needed that income because I was outta work. Like I told 'em, I don't
care if they put me scrubbing a floor. It's money. It's a job." 

Trump's campaign has not offered additional comments regarding criticism
over the hiring practices at Mar-a-Lago. Instead, Trump has stuck to his
explanation on the campaign trail that he could not find U.S. workers
who would take the jobs. 

Trump will have a hard time convincing at least one Florida waitress.
"It hurts," Seymore told CNN. "You have other people coming from another
country trying to have jobs that I should be working. And it's not

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