The Slatest

President Who Employed Undocumented Workers Now Says Undocumented Labor Might Be OK Sometimes

Trump, walking from right to left across the frame as his hair blows in the wind.
Donald Trump outside the White House on Thursday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Well, well, well, well. It seems that a certain POTUS who has made zero-tolerance policies toward “illegal immigration” the centerpiece of his political career is starting to have some second thoughts about his position—and specifically, it seems that this individual, whose personal hotel-resort businesses have relied on undocumented housekeepers and groundskeepers for years, has now coincidentally come to believe that some industries should be allowed to employ undocumented workers.

Here’s what the gentleman in question, Donald Trump, told Fox News on Sunday about the difficulty, in certain industries such as agriculture and, uh, building hotels, of using the E-Verify system to ensure that one’s employees have their paperwork in order:


I used it when I built the hotel down the road on Pennsylvania Avenue. I use a very strong E-Verify system. And we would go through 28 people — 29, 30 people — before we found one that qualified. So it’s a very tough thing to ask a farmer to go through that. So in a certain way, I speak against myself, but you also have to have a world of some practicality. 

As the Washington Post notes, the Trump Organization only recently announced—in January, after a series of news reports documented its extensive employment of undocumented workers—that it planned to begin using E-Verify on its properties. At that time, the spin from Trump’s camp was that the presence of undocumented individuals on his payroll was evidence of a “broken” immigration system that needed to be fixed immediately; now, it seems, that fix can wait for a while. You know, because it would be hard on the farmers.