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Legal Status of Trump Workers at Issue

Friday, July 10, 2015

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WASHINGTON--No stranger to controversy, mega builder and presidential candidate Donald Trump is now under fire for making inflammatory comments about immigrants.

He’s called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, but is apparently relying on undocumented workers to finish his $200 million luxury hotel project in Washington, D.C., according to a recent Washington Post article.

In responding to The Post article, the billionaire real-estate mogul and former reality-TV star told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he could not “guarantee” that all the workers he employs have legal status in the country.

Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Real-estate billionaire Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign June 16.

He also warned that if he were to discover any undocumented immigrants working for him he would, “get rid of them immediately.”

Organization, Contractor Statements

In a statement to The Post, the Trump Organization said its hiring practices and workforce complies with U.S. immigration laws.

Moreover, Lend Lease, the construction manager for the Trump project—a transformation of the 114-year-old Old Post Office—said it required all contractors who work on the project to follow applicable federal, state and local laws.

The Post reported that many of the laborers were from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Some of the workers told the news bureau that they had entered the United States illegally and have since become U.S. citizens, but a few had not done so.

The workers have feared losing their jobs in light of Trump’s opinions on immigration, the report said.

Campaign Pledge

Trump, a Republican, launched his presidential campaign June 16.

Old Post Office
Mike Peel / CC-BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Post reported that the immigrants working on the redevelopment of the Old Post Office building in Washington D.C. were worried about their jobs.

“We are going to make our country great again,”  he said in announcing his bid.

If elected, Trump pledged to build an “impenetrable” wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico.

Outraged by Trump’s stance on immigration, a few companies, including Macy’s and NBC, have announced that they will no longer do business with him.

To those parties, he said, “Here’s the good news. I’m very rich. The money you’re talking about is a lot, but it’s peanuts for me,” according to CNN.

Trump also said he would self-fund his campaign.

The Project

The Old Post Office building is to be transformed into the Trump International Hotel, featuring 272 guestrooms, averaging more than 600 square feet each, making them the largest in the capital.

Demolition at the site began in September 2014, and construction started at the end of January.

Rooms will feature restored historic millwork, huge windows, crystal sconces and chandeliers, according to a project description.

The redevelopment is set for a mid-2016 completion, according to Lend Lease.


Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Hotels; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Personnel; Renovation; Trump Hotels; Workers

Comment from regis doucette, (7/10/2015, 3:36 AM)

I find your editorialized political statements to be a major stretch here and wish you would return to real industry news. Is your next article about the Confederate graves being uprooted and how that is good for the construction business? Perhaps you should review the FBI reports that confirm his statement that some of them have caused havoc in communities instead of your acting like he said all Mexicans were bad for America.

Comment from Mike McCloud, (7/10/2015, 6:38 AM)

I am sure Mr. Trump would agree that most immigrants (legal and otherwise) are incredibly hard working people. And I am positive Mr. Trump and his associated companies would not knowingly hire illegals. He is way smarter than that.

Comment from Gary Burke, (7/10/2015, 8:42 AM)

Some of his comments can be harsh, rude and crass but a businessman is what we need to run our country. I vote independently and am nether republican or democrat, Ronald Regan was my last big hero, but agree with a lot Bush and Obama have done for our country. It's time to vote for a businessman and show Washington we are tired of the stupid games and typical bullshit they waste time and money on!

Comment from Robert Tinker, (7/10/2015, 9:48 AM)

I check D&D almost everyday and I find its stories interesting and relevant. There was no political statement in the above article as suggested by regis doucette. I believe his beef was with the Washington Post article. The quip about confederate graves is a good indicator of where his head resides. To Mr. McCloud, rich and smart are not synonymous. Billionaires are rich by taking money from others - ruthless would be a better adjective. And Mr. Burke, yea, just what we need, more rude and crass bidnessmens. And Ronald Regan, really?, that senile traitorous fool was your hero? I am not given to conspiracy theories, but three posts to defend a billionaire is a bit much. So I am wondering how much they got paid...

Comment from ELIZABETH FRENCHMAN, (7/10/2015, 9:56 AM)

I am astonished that anyone is taking this performance artist seriously and it seems they are. Last time he bailed after he drummed up interest for his businesses but before he had to reveal anything about his finances. Expect the same this time.

Comment from tim barrett, (7/10/2015, 10:33 AM)

We've elected a crook, a peanut farmer, a third rate governor from Arkansas, a second rate Hollywood actor, why is a crass, egocentric businessman so improbable ?

Comment from Gavin Burgess, (7/10/2015, 1:27 PM)

Watching The Donald (a buffoon in my personal opinion, and I'm a conservative) from outside the US over the years has been fascinating. Unfortunately, however, "a crass, egocentric businessman" (Mr. Barrett's comment) will not be able to "show Washington (you) are tired of the stupid games and typical bullshit they waste time and money on!" (Mr. Burke's comment). Politics is about power and power comes from the "stupid games and typical bullshit they waste time and money on!". It's the same in every democracy. Ours, yours, name a democratic country. That will never change until people take control and vote none intelligent, committed people in which will also never happen because they very rarely run for office. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and The Donald, should he be elected (mild shudder) will be right there playing with the rest of them. As far as the alleged "illegals" working on his project, I suspect that, if there are indeed any, they will likely be working for a rather minor subcontractor. Lend Lease can "require" all contractors to do whatever they say, but if they don't do the enforcement, it's meaningless.

Comment from peter gibson, (7/13/2015, 11:43 AM)

At least Trump is not PC like the rest of those fools. PC is driving this country into a ditch. At least he has something to say, unlike that wimp Jeb. Everybody now....ABC this go round. Please folks lets get it together.

Comment from Kellie Allen, (7/13/2015, 12:10 PM)

Typical BS from a union driven organization.

Comment from peter gibson, (7/13/2015, 3:04 PM)

Agree...unions must go forever.

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