Donald Trump’s Miami Beach Resort Wants to Hire 21 Foreign Workers, Some at Pay Decreases

President Donald Trump’s beach resort in Miami wants to hire 21 temporary foreign workers, according to requests filed with the U.S. Department of Labor that were made public Monday.

The requests from the Trump International Beach Resort are for six assistant food and beverage servers and 15 housekeepers who would be employed from December 1 through September 6, 2019. The food and beverage servers would make $10.34 per hour, a pay decrease from last year’s $11.65 per hour. Housekeepers would make $11 per hour, a slight increase from last year’s $10.64 per hour.

Onsite parking for the employees would be provided but at a fee of $34 per month. In addition, a one-time nonrefundable $10 fee for a parking transponder is required. The work request notes there is a public bus stop within walking distance of the resort. Employee-shared housing is also offered at about $700 per month with a $200 deposit.

For a president who often touts his administration’s “America First” initiative and boasts about how well the economy is doing, the practice of hiring temporary foreign workers goes against his past claims that it’s “never been a better time to hire” in the U.S.

The temporary employees would be hired under the Department of Labor’s H-2B visa program, which requires companies to first try to fill any open jobs with American workers. However, if the company shows it still cannot fill the needed positions after it has attempted to find Americans, the Labor Department will grant the company temporary foreign work visas to hire workers from another country or to use for immigrants who are in the U.S. legally.

In order for an employer to qualify for the H-2B program, a company must meet three requirements established by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: There are not enough U.S. workers who are “able, willing, qualified, and available” to do the temporary work; the H-2B workers will not “adversely affect the wages and working conditions” of U.S. workers in similar positions; and the need for the services or labor is temporary.

Located in the Miami suburb of Sunny Isles Beach, the Trump International Beach Resort sits alongside two other Trump properties. The company did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s questions on Tuesday about how the resort attempted to find American workers first.

This isn’t the first time the Miami resort has hired foreign workers under the H-2B program.

Assuming all 21 job positions are filled for this year’s requests, the Trump beach resort will have employed 124 temporary foreign workers since 2015. It’s possible that additional requests for foreign workers could be made public in the coming days based on the number of H-2B workers hired in previous years.

In 2015, 41 foreign workers were employed at the resort, followed by 30 in 2016 and 32 in 2017. All of the positions started in the beginning of December and lasted through the following September.

The Trump International Beach Resort did not answer Newsweek’s questions about whether it has changed the way in which it attempts to find American workers over the past few years before resorting to the H-2B visas. 

But the beachside resort is far from the only Trump property that has consistently hired temporary foreign workers.

Trump’s various resorts and country clubs across the country have done the same, including his exclusive Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, not far from his Miami resort. Mar-a-Lago, dubbed the Winter White House because of the president’s frequent trips there while in office, requested 78 H-2B work visas in July. The number was originally 61 but rose a few days later after an additional request was made public.  

Throughout his presidency, Trump has spoken of the benefits of investing in the U.S. and hiring American workers. Recently, he’s taken to Twitter to point to low unemployment rates and high G.D.P. growth as evidence that his economic policies are working.

The Labor Department announced last week it would be cracking down on the hotel industry’s use of the H-2B visa program, specifically targeting the industry’s compliance with federal wage laws.  

“Any employer seeking workers under this program must be ready and willing to hire qualified U.S. applicants first,” said Bryan Jarrett, Wage and Hour Division Acting Administrator at the Labor Department. “This initiative demonstrates our commitment to safeguard American jobs, level the playing field for law-abiding employers, and protect guest workers from being paid less than they are legally owed or otherwise working under substandard conditions.”

The Wage and Hour Division said investigations last year found more than $105 million in back pay for more than 97,000 workers in industries that use a high number of H-2B workers, like the hotel industry.

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