Lost in last week’s noise about the Made in America week circus, the Russian scandal and healthcare reform, there was a little nugget of information that many voters missed. On Monday, last week, the Trump administration issued an additional 15,000 visas for temporary seasonal workers. This additional worker visa allotment allows foreign workers to shore up labor shortages for landscaping companies, seafood harvesters and tourist resort workers.
The seasonal worker program allows foreign workers to fill seasonal jobs in the United States that are traditionally filled by foreigners. Donald Trump ran his campaign on the promise that he was going to put America First. Among his many promises was that U.S. workers would come first. Last week, Trump inaugurated the Made in America week circus in the attempt to shore up the nativists’ argument that the United States does not need foreign workers or foreign trade to be successful.
For many years, the nativists have been arguing that U.S. workers would fill the jobs foreigners normally take when the jobs become available. They have argued that wages would rise and U.S. workers would fill the job slots as the foreign workers were taken off the jobs.
There is no argument that the Trump administration has made it difficult for the undocumented to work openly in the country. Additionally, the Trump administration’s policy is that foreign workers would be limited.
Yet, the Trump administration agreed to allow an additional 15,000 H2B work visas for the current fiscal period.
Because the dirty secret that the Trump administration and its nativists supporters do not want the voters to understand is that the U.S. economy is stronger because of and depends on foreign workers. The proof lies in the additional visas authorized last week.
The public policy of the United States, under Trump, is that foreign workers need not apply.
That is the public policy that Donald Trump wants you to believe.
But the reality is best exemplified by Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s own resort and favorite resting area. The golf club filed an official request asking for work visas for 20 cooks, 15 maids and 35 waiters. Since 2000, Mar-a-Lago has received permission to use over 1,000 H-2B visas to fill jobs at Trump’s golf course. It’s latest request, issued on the same week that Donald Trump was touting Made in America at the White House, seeks to fill jobs that the resort is unable to fill with U.S. workers.
On one hand Donald Trump is trumping up the Made in America circus while on the other hand his financial interest is selfishly seeking foreign workers, the same workers that Trump demonizes routinely to shore up his political base.
No greater hypocrisy exists then that.