Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Some people have a problem with the fact that Donald Trump doesn’t staff up his own resorts exclusively with American citizens. Others are more bothered by the hypocrisy:

President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House’s “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.

Those requests were made to the Department of Labor in recent days and posted online Thursday. The for-profit club, where Trump spent numerous weekends this spring, asked permission to hire 15 housekeepers, 20 cooks and 35 waiters.

In addition, Trump’s golf club in nearby Jupiter, Fla. asked permission to hire six foreign workers as cooks. The applications to the Department of Labor are a first step in the process of applying for H-2B visas, which would allow the clubs to bring in foreigners for temporary work between October and next May.

Should Trump try harder to find American cooks, housekeepers and waiters? Couldn’t he post on Twitter that he’s seeking qualified applicants and fill these positions easily? I think that would probably work, don’t you?

In fact, it looks like he has to make some kind of effort.

Now, the Labor Department — which reports to Trump — must make decisions that will affect two for-profit business that the president still owns.

The next step, a Department of Labor spokesman said, is that the two clubs must take steps to try to recruit American workers for these jobs. That often involves placing help-wanted ads in local newspapers and contacting former workers. If those efforts are unsuccessful, then Trump’s clubs can ask for the Department of Labor to certify that it has tried and failed to hire Americans. After that, the Trump clubs can ask the Department of Homeland Security to issue visas for workers it has found in other countries.

Maybe we could start small and instead of building a wall thousands of miles long on the Mexican border we can just put up some barbwire fencing around Mar-a-Lago and his Jupiter joint.

I don’t have a problem with people hiring foreign workers but if Trump would tweet less about about Mika Brzezinski and his desire to obstruct justice and more about these job openings, I’m fairly certain that hiring foreign workers wouldn’t be necessary in this case.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at