The Slatest

Trump Paid $1 Million–Plus Settlement to Undocumented Immigrant Workers on Trump Tower Project

Trump Tower in New York City in 2012.

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

A newly unsealed document reveals that Donald Trump paid more than $1 million in 1998 to a group of undocumented immigrant laborers he’d employed during the process of building his flagship Trump Tower building in New York City, the New York Times reports.

It’s been known for years that 200 undocumented Polish construction workers performed demolition work in 1980 at the Fifth Avenue site on which Trump Tower was subsequently built. It’s also been known that those workers subsequently sued Trump for underpayment. What the new document shows is that Trump ultimately agreed to pay the group $1.375 million to settle their claims against him, a sum that one lawyer who represented the workers described as “one hundred cents on the dollar” of the amount they were eligible to receive.

Trump, whose presidential campaign was of course fixated on the threat that undocumented immigrants present to American prosperity and security, has denied that he knew the workers were undocumented. More than one individual testified during court proceedings, however, that this was false; another lawyer representing the Polish workers in fact said that the Trump Organization had threatened to report them to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in an attempt to gain leverage.

The Trump Organization, meanwhile continues to hire low-cost foreign guest workers to staff the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and other businesses it runs. Undocumented workers were also used to build the Trump-branded hotel in Washington that’s often used by administration officials.