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Report: Trump Sponsored Illegal Workers at $13.83/hr. for $30/hr. jobs. Roger Algase

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Part of Donald Trump's appeal is said to be that since he is a successful businessman, he would know better than anyone else how to fix the economy and create more jobs for American workers. Certainly, experience counts.

But there is also another area where Trump allegedly has experience and expertise - in exploiting "illegal" foreign workers in order to kill American jobs. This is according to a March 30 Daily Kos story: Exploiting immigrants and killing good jobs the Trump way.


The Daily Kos reports:

"Unemployment in the construction industry was high in 2010. But somehow ( Donald Trump's fancy Westchester golf development needed Ecuadorian stonemasons, for whom the company tried to get permanent work certifications while admitting they'd entered the country 'without inspection' i.e. illegally."

The full story appears in the above cited article. It is not one that does much to bolster Trump's claims of good faith in his stated opposition to illegal immigration and to hiring cheap foreign labor instead of American workers.

Among other things, the article states that Trump's company offered the Ecuadorian stonemasons $13.83 per hour for jobs that usually pay $30 per hour to US workers, but somehow managed to have this accepted by the US Department of Labor as a valid prevailing wage.

The article also reports that Trump's company received audit requests from the DOL for these applications, but did not respond. Earlier (2006) labor certification applications by the same company for five other Central/South American masons were denied, but one of these denials was overturned on appeal. That LC application offered a higher salary, namely $22.05 per hour.

The above article also claims that Trump's company used an agent (not a lawyer) to prepare and file the LC applications who had been blacklisted by the DOL for alleged fraudulent activity.

With regard to Trump's hiring low wage foreign workers at a time when a downturn on the construction industry was reportedly putting many American construction workers out of work, a bricklayers' union representative was quoted as saying:

"People lost their homes, families went hungry...There's np way that the argument can reasonably be made that there was nobody to do the work. It's completely ridiculous."

While the bricklayers' union and the contractors' association disagreed about whether or not there was a shortage of qualified US worker stonemasons, they both agreed that $13.83 per hour was well below the going rate of about $30 per hour, or even double that for masons with several years of experience, something that the Ecuadorean laborers had, according to the above article

This raises a question as to how truthful the job descriptions in the LC applications that Trump's company filed with the DOL in order to receive the low prevailing wage of $13.83 per hour actually were.

All in all, the actions of Trump's company in connection with these labor certification applications do not do a great deal to support Trump's contention that he is the best qualified presidential candidate to crack down on fraud and abuse in the labor certification and other skilled worker immigration programs.

His claim would be more equivalent to arguing that a serial robber, burglar or rapist is the best candidate for police chief, since he has the most experience with crime.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants with H-1B, Labor Certification and other employment based, as well as marriage-based and other work visas and green cards, for over 35 years.

Roger's email address is

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Updated 04-05-2016 at 12:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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