Lou Dobbs made a career out of bashing illegal immigrants and the employers who hired them while at CNN.
Eventually that got to be too much for CNN, which instead has opted for more middle-of-the-road coverage, and he was forced out.
But while Dobbs became a hero for standing up for his beliefs, it turns out he’s also a hypocrite.
A new investigative report by The Nation’s investigative arm confirms that he employed illegal immigrants at his horse farm.
This year, Hillary Dobbs [Lou’s daughter] became the youngest-ever horse show rider to win $1 million in prize money. While all horses require extensive maintenance, the labour entailed in the upkeep of competition horses like the ones ridden by “Dobbs’s million dollar baby” (as the New York Post dubbed Hillary) is particularly strenuous.
Every November, all five of The Dobbs Group’s show-jumping horses must be transported from their summer stables in Vermont to their winter stables in Wellington, Florida. The workers are transported to the tropics too, returning to New England with the horses in April. They ride in trucks each way alongside their expensive equestrian charges, tending to the horses’ needs throughout the 30-two-hour journey. Their return to Vermont marks the start of a new annual circuit of horse shows—an exhausting schedule during the spring, summer and fall months that entails constant travel between their Vermont base and horse shows around the country. At these shows, it is not unusual for the grooms who care for Dobbs’s horses to rise in the middle of the night or in the predawn hours to clean, brush and prepare the horses for a training session or early morning competition.
For years, undocumented immigrants from Mexico have been relied upon to meet these labour demands.
A 36-year-old Mexican immigrant I’ll call Marco Salinas was working with a group of horses in a stable at the bustling Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival when I approached him for an interview. (Fearing deportation or job loss, Salinas, like the other workers interviewed for this story, asked that neither his real name nor the name of his employer be used.) Several hours later, when he finished his 10-hour workday, Salinas recounted how he had come to the United States five years ago for a job. Seated on an outdoor bench near the stable, the Mexico City native told the story of how he had crossed the Yuma Desert on foot, from the Mexican city of San Luis Río Colorado and into the United States, eluding the border patrol.
Salinas said he braved the journey for one reason—because he had the promise of a job on the other end. An old friend of Salinas’s worked as a groom with some of the horses owned by Dobbs, and he had sent word that Salinas could be hired on as a groom at the Vermont stable contracted to care for the Dobbs Group horses.
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