A new report in The Washington Post suggests that undocumented immigrants are working on one of Donald Trump’s signature real-estate projects.
Trump has made relentless opposition to illegal immigration a core part of his GOP presidential campaign platform. However, that same opposition is apparently causing awkwardness at a work site in Washington, DC, where Trump is constructing a $US200 million luxury hotel just blocks from the White House.
The Post’s Antonio Olivo talked to 15 of the workers — some of whom, he wrote Monday, “acknowledged that they remain in the country illegally.”
“The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally,” said a mason, Ivan Arellano, who reportedly obtained legal status through marriage. “And we’re all here working very hard to build a better life for our families.”
Trump has been embroiled in controversy since his campaign launch, when he accused the Mexican government of sending “rapists” and drug runners to the US. He then repeatedly and passionately defended his remarks, generating reams of headlines and causing him to to lose several business relationships.
In response to The Post’s inquiries, Trump representatives said the GOP businessman requires all of his contractors to obey US immigration laws. The lead contractor for the luxury hotel, Lend Lease, declined to comment to The Post and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Tuesday.
“Mr. Trump, who is the 100% owner of the Old Post Office [where the new hotel is being built], hired one of the largest contractors in the world to act as the general contractor,” Michael Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, told the newspaper. “That company is Lend Lease. They then go out and employ subcontractors to work for them.”
“The obligation to check all workers on site is exclusive to Lend Lease,” Cohen added. “This of course assumes that the assertion regarding the employees’ status is accurate.”
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