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A Heartbroken Trump

It all has to do with the difficulty of his daddy’s companies complying with the law when it comes to employing immigrant workers at their various properties

 Eric’s daddy, as we all know, has strong views on immigration. (Photo: Disney-ABC/Flickr/cc)

Eric’s daddy, as we all know, has strong views on immigration. (Photo: Disney-ABC/Flickr/cc)

Whoever you are—I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. —Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

It is no wonder his heart is broken. Not only have they been wonderful employees, but it’s impossible for him or anyone else to know what Eric’s daddy really wants. It all has to do with the confusing rules about legal and illegal immigrants, his daddy’s inconsistent statements, and the difficulty his daddy’s companies have had complying with the law when it comes to employing immigrant workers at their various properties.

When it was reported, late in 2018, that the Trump organization employed many undocumented workers at its assorted properties, and in some cases had assisted them in falsifying their documents so they could remain employed, the organization vowed to change its ways. Eric Trump, a vice president of the company, explained, while simultaneously demonstrating his grammatical creativity: “We are actively engaged in uniforming this process across our properties and will institute e-verify at any property not currently utilizing this system.”

When it became publicly known that the Trump organization employed a number of workers who were not qualified to work in the United States, even though many of them had worked for the Trump properties for many years, they were fired. Their firing took an emotional toll on Eric.

Referring to their firing, Eric said: “I must say, for me personally, this whole thing is truly heartbreaking. Our employees are like family. . . .” He went on to say that the fact that the Trump organization had hired illegal immigrants was not unique to that organization and that it “demonstrates that our immigration system is severely broken and needs to be fixed immediately.” He didn’t bother to comment on the fact that had the organization used the e-verify system, a system used by countless other organizations around the country to determine the status of immigrants seeking to work in this country, those working at the Trump properties illegally would not have been hired in the first place.

Eric’s daddy, as we all know, has strong views on immigration. They were disclosed during his State of the Union address on February 5, 2019. In that speech he said: “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers we’ve ever seen, but they have to come in legally.”

The day after daddy’s speech, daddy was further questioned by reporters about his stance on immigration. In response he said “I need people coming in because we need people to run the factories and plants and companies that are moving back in. We need people.” Here’s how that is going to happen.

On March 12, 2019, it was announced that the administration is planning to close its 23 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices overseas. (USCIS). People needing their services can either go to offices in the United States, assuming they can get in to do that, or to State Department outposts overseas. Not everyone is familiar with the USCIS.

According to its website, USCIS “administers the nation’s lawful immigration system. . .. {I}t is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. We are 19,000 government employees and contractors working at more than 200 offices across the world.” It further states:  We will be ever mindful of the importance of the trust the American people have placed in us to administer the nation’s immigration system fairly, honestly, and correctly. The explanation given by the administration for closing the international offices of that agency says the closure will not only save millions of dollars,1 but will clear up the back-log of domestic applications for legal-immigration programs.

The Director of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna, explained that the work the closed offices had been doing would be transferred to offices in the United States and embassies and consulates abroad. He said the effect would be to “maximize our agency’s finite resources.” He was further quoted in the Washington Post saying: “I want to assure you we will work to make this as smooth a transition as possible for each of our USCIS staff while also ensuring that those utilizing our services may continue to do so and our agency operations continue undisrupted.”

Critics, of course, may find it difficult to reconcile the closure with Eric’s daddy’s pronouncement that he welcomed more new workers from foreign countries entering the United States. Some say it is an attempt by the Trump administration to discourage foreigners from seeking to come to the United States. A former director of USCIS described the move as “a pullback from the international presence of USCIS. It’s in keeping with this isolationist bent that this administration has had more broadly.”

Lynn Lee, an immigration attorney who files many petitions at USCIS offices overseas commented on the changes and the backlog confronted by those offices saying: “We would love for USCIS to alleviate that backlog, but it’s not going to be done by taking the most streamlined and efficient office in their entire organization and eliminating that office. It’s a serious loss.”

George Brun, an immigration lawyer and former ambassador to Belize said: “This is not an immigration friendly administration. The service currently being provided is awful, and I can only imagine it’s going to deteriorate further with these office closures.” He may well be right. When Eric learns of it, it is almost a sure thing that Eric will find it “truly heartbreaking.” He isn’t the only one.

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli is a columnist and lawyer known nationally for his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors of the Rocky Mountain Law Review. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. For political commentary see his web page at http://humanraceandothersports.com

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