US presidential hopeful Donald Trump dilutes stance on foreign workers: report

01 August 2015

Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon and presidential candidate who by oath has to protect American jobs, has taken a lenient, but hard-nosed stance on immigration and has sought to import thousands of immigrant workers into the country.

Trump, who had earlier referred to some undocumented Mexican immigrants as "criminals and rapists," has worked to refine his vision for immigration reform in the United States.

Under the refined policy, Trump wants the US to do everything to stop illegal immigration, including building a wall on the southern border - which he insists Mexico will pay for - and deport the entire undocumented immigrant population, but bring them back into the country legally.

Nine companies majority-owned by Trump have sought to bring in foreign waitresses, cooks, vineyard workers and other laborers on temporary work-visa programs administered by the labor department.

Reports quoting labour department figures said companies that Trump owns have sought to import at least 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000, and have got approval for most of the applications.

This month, one of his companies, the Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Florida, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners.

One of Trump's companies is seeking foreign talent for an assistant golf-course superintendent, an assistant hotel manager and a banquet manager.

Two of his companies, Trump Model Management and Trump Management Group LLC, have sought visas for nearly 250 foreign fashion models, the reports say.

Trump has positioned himself as a champion of American workers whose livelihoods are threatened by illegal foreign laborers and the offshoring of US jobs.

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God every created," he said in announcing his candidacy on June 16. "I will bring back our jobs from China, Mexico and other places. I will bring back jobs and our money."

Trump generated both notoriety and buzz by singling out Mexican immigrants in the United States. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," he said in the speech. "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

In a speech on July 11, Trump distinguished between those working legally and illegally in the United States, saying thousands of "legal" Mexicans - "incredible people" - have worked for him over the years.

The Labor Department records don't specify the nationality of the foreign workers sought by companies under the three categories of temporary work visas - the H-2A, H-2B and H-1B programmes.

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