Air Force One Mar A Lago
Credit: The White House/Flickr

The New York Times simply will not stop documenting all the foreign labor and undocumented workers the president employs at his golf courses, hotels, and resorts. As a result, he’s basically been shamed into fixing the problem, but he’s trying to do it as quietly as he can.

In March, seven veteran maintenance workers at Trump National Jupiter, the golf club 18 miles north of Mar-a-Lago that Mr. Trump purchased in 2012, were informed that the work force was being reorganized. Workers had until March 22 to provide proof that they were legally eligible to work in the United States, they were told.

One by one, the workers — from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico — began to depart. Only one of the seven was a legal resident.

It’s curious that Trump says the country is full and cannot accept any more legal immigrants or asylum seekers from Latin America, but can’t find more than one in seven legal residents to maintain his greens and fairways.

No one from the management at the Jupiter club, or at any of the Florida Trump properties, responded to interview requests for this story, nor did officials from the Trump Organization. But none of the immigrants doubted that club managers were aware all along that they were undocumented, and were disappointed to see them go.

“They knew immigrants working there are here illegally,” said Giovanni Velásquez, a 23-year-old from Guatemala who said he had been allowed to continue working as long as he did because he was needed. “The know-how that I have, the work I do, can’t be easily replaced. No American wants to do it.”

I don’t actually believe that no American wants to work maintenance on a Trump-branded golf course, but they’re scarce enough to make it less of a headache to just hire from some local employment contractor and let them worry about the legal liability. Everyone knows that these workers are mostly undocumented, and no one apparently wants to put in the extra effort or pay the extra cost of seeking out American citizens to do the work.

Trump will find a way to get it done now, since he’s boxed himself into a corner. But you never hear about greed and laziness as factors in why business owners aren’t hiring Americans for menial jobs.

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Martin Longman

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