Marco Rubio connected on at least half a dozen of his punches during Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, but none was more memorable than the one blasting Trump for hiring 200 undocumented Polish workers to build the New York City skyscraper that bears his name.
"If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Towers, he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it,' Rubio chirped. The crowd went wild.
Trump would have you believe the illegal Polish workers he hired for coolie wages to build Trump Towers is irrelevant because -- who cares, it's something that happened 36 years ago.
Yet the billionaire celeb-businessman is still doing it. He's still looking to hire immigrants or hiring contractors who scoop up illegals and put them to work on Trump building sites for sometimes off-the-books wages.
No wonder the Internal Revenue Service audits Trump every year.
The latest charges of undocumented workers come from some of the workers themselves. Last year the Central American construction crew was working on the Old Post Office Pavilion, Trump's $200 million hotel renovation just down the street from the White House in Washington, D.C.
It was about the same time Trump first publicly proclaimed of Mexican immigrants, “They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Some of the workers, hired by Trump's contractor Lend Lease, walked out, particularly after hearing the Donald's comments about illegal immigration -- which included a promise to "build a great, great wall on our southern border" and bill Mexico for the cost.
A July 6, 2015 article in The Washington Post tells the story. Interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the hotel "revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled in the Washington region to build new lives," according to the Post.
(An interesting and/or nauseating aside to the Old Post Office Pavilion story: Remember how Trump talked during the debate about the waste he was going to cut out of the federal government? In 2014, his company recieved a $40 million tax break for its work on the hotel under a fat federal program that allows developers to recoup 20 percent of their costs in fixing up certified historic structures. The tax break made Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford's list of 100 "Federal Fumbles," a roundup of federal spending Lankford considers especially wasteful.)
And little did we know when Trump promised to bring jobs back to America, he meant foreigners' jobs, not Americans'. A 2015 analysis of U.S. Labor records shows that Trump’s businesses have imported more than 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000.
Nine companies Trump majority-owns have sought to bring in foreign waitresses, cooks, vineyard workers and other laborers on temporary work-visa programs. His companies also filed applications for an assistant golf-course superintendent, assistant hotel manager and a banquet manager.
And two of his companies, Trump Model Management and Trump Management Group LLC, have sought visas for nearly 250 foreign fashion models, the records show.
One of his companies, the exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners in July 2015 alone. In all but a handful of cases, the club that describes itself as "one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world" sought to fill the jobs with foreign guest workers from Romania and other eastern European countries.
Asked why his club must seek so many foreign workers when Americans have applied for the same positions, Trump told The New York Times in a telephone interview from Mar-a-Lago this month: “The only reason they wouldn’t get a callback is that they weren’t qualified, for some reason. There are very few qualified people during the high season in the area.”
Trump claims he has to hire immigrant help for the same reason grape growers in California need extra laborers during the harvest.
When all is said and done, Donald Trump is just another rich, sociopathic hypocrite. They're everywhere. But this particular hypocrite wants to be president of the United States.
Trump is free to hire all the immigrants he wants, as far as I'm concerned, that's not the troubling part. Far worse, he's turned a blind eye to their legal status -- for what reason? To pay them as little as he can get away with? And Trump has millions of supporters who believe -- really and truly believe -- they've found an iron fist to lead the charge against illegal entry to this country.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith