Trump used foreign student labor he pledges to ban

Trump used foreign student labor he pledges to ban

WASHINGTON – The Associated Press
Trump used foreign student labor he pledges to ban

AP Photo

If elected president, Donald Trump has pledged to scrap a work visa program that brings 300,000 student workers each year to the U.S. Among the businesses that would be forced to stop hiring foreign labor: Trump’s own.

The visa, known as the J-1, purports to offer a “cultural exchange” and give American businesses access to guest workers’ “specialized skills,” according to the State Department. Trump says it is simply a conciliatory gesture aimed at corporate interests seeking cheap labor - and he would replace it “with a resume bank for inner city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J-1 visa program.”

Yet Trump’s hotel in Chicago has been a regular user of J-1 visas, according to workers at the hotel and Irish students who worked there. The nexus of the hiring has been the hotel’s elite Terrace Restaurant, though other J-1 students have been placed at reception and at other hotel eating establishments.

“I don’t understand his mindset by saying that he is abolishing the J-1s visa,” said Sibial Nm Cearbhallain, a master’s student in Dublin, who met Trump during the summer of 2013 while working as a hostess on the Terrace. “I’m not sure he is aware of the number of Irish students who go over and work for him.”

In an emailed statement to The Associated Press, Trump said that his approach to J-1 visas would be different as president than it had been as a businessman. During the March 10 presidential debate, Trump said that his use of visa programs made him familiar with their details - and therefore the best to reform them. Describing a different category of visas to hire foreign highly skilled workers, Trump said: “It’s something that I frankly use and I shouldn’t be allowed to use it. We shouldn’t have it. Very, very bad for workers.”

Trump told the AP: A businessman’s goal is to “be more profitable than your competitors who will seek every advantage in labor costs, overhead and taxes. The job of a president is to represent every single working American.”

Trump’s use of foreign guest workers has conflicted with his restrictive immigration platform in the past. The celebrity businessman turned presidential front-runner has employed hundreds of temporary guest workers at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, jobs that he said American workers do not want. The New York Times found that Trump notified a workforce development group of only scattered job opportunities for local residents.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said that Trump was encouraging violence and chaos to win over voters.

Clinton said, “At our best, Americans have rejected demagogues and fear-mongers.”

Trump wants to round up and deport Latino immigrants, ban Muslims from the United States and also kill the families of suspected terrorists, which Clinton says is a war crime.

She adds that he also encourages his supporters to punch protesters that attend his campaign events.

“We can criticize and protest Mr. Trump all we want, but none of that matters if we don’t show up at the polls,” she said. “If you want to shut him down, let’s vote him down.”

Clinton and her rival Bernie Sanders were speaking at a fundraiser for the Ohio Democratic party.

Trump’s rallies in Chicago on March 11, and Kansas City on March 12 were interrupted with violence and disruption. Trump was forced to cancel his rally at Chicago on the night of March 11.