Earlier this week, the government conducted raids on agricultural processing facilities in Mississippi, arresting hundreds of undocumented workers. What you didn’t see, however, was the owners of those plants being led out in handcuffs, despite the fact that they almost certainly knew whom they were employing.
That is good news for President Trump, because if we lived in a country where the people who hire undocumented workers faced a serious threat of prosecution, he’d be in big trouble.
The Post’s Joshua Partlow and David A. Fahrenthold report:
Other employees at Trump clubs were so impressed by the laborers — who did strenuous work with heavy stone — that they nicknamed them “Los Picapiedras,” Spanish for “the Flintstones.”
For years, their ranks have included workers who entered the United States illegally, according to two former members of the crew. Another employee, still with the company, said that remains true today.
President Trump “doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,” said one worker, Jorge Castro, a 55-year-old immigrant from Ecuador without legal status who left the company in April after nine years. “But at his properties, he still has them.”
Partlow and Fahrenthold have identified at least eight Trump properties that employed undocumented workers, and interviewed dozens of them. As one said, “If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter.”
And it’s not like this is some kind of anomaly. Trump has been employing undocumented workers for his entire career. Some of the people who built Trump Tower four decades ago later sued him, recounting “nightmare memories of backbreaking 12-hour shifts and of being cheated with 200 other undocumented Polish immigrants out of meager wages and fringe benefits.” According to this investigation, his modeling agency, Trump Model Management, brought in foreign models without working papers, instructed them to lie to customs officials about what they were doing in the United States, and kept them in squalid conditions while withholding most of their pay.
It’s a bit strange that Democrats don’t talk about this more often, especially given that a big part of the reason Trump got elected in 2016 was his argument that the American system is “rigged” against the interests of ordinary people. It was a powerful argument because it was true. Millions of voters who felt at the mercy of corporations and a government they believe didn’t care about them but instead functioned for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful nodded along in agreement when Trump said it.
The best counter-argument Democrats could offer isn’t that Trump is wrong and the system isn’t rigged, because it plainly is. The best counter-argument is that Trump himself is the one doing the rigging, cutting taxes for the wealthy and slashing regulations for corporations while he dodges his own taxes and employs undocumented workers.