Donald Trump has turned away hundreds of American workers to hire cheap foreign labor instead

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Trump: Jobs Report Is '90% Fiction'

"No one will bring our jobs back from China and Mexico like Trump," Donald Trump recently wrote, in a Facebook post. The GOP front-runner's commitment to restoring employment opportunities that Americans have lost to developing countries is one of the cornerstones of his candidacy. But where Trump has had the power to replace American workers with foreign ones, he has done so with gusto.

Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied for jobs at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, but only 17 were hired. Meanwhile, Trump pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers at the resort, the New York Times reports.

Trump's fondness for guest workers was brought to national attention by Reuters last summer, when the news service reported that the Donald had sought visas for over 1,000 foreign laborers since 2000. The Times investigation shows that those visas weren't pursued for a lack of domestic applicants.

"The only reason they wouldn't get a callback is that they weren't qualified, for some reason," Trump insisted, in an interview with the paper. "There are very few qualified people during the high season in the area."

See Trump with his supporters:

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Donald Trump's Iowa Rally at the same time as GOP debate
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Donald Trump has turned away hundreds of American workers to hire cheap foreign labor instead
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally raising funds for US military veterans at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2016. US Republicans scrambling to win the first contest in the presidential nomination race were gearing for battle at high-profile debate in Iowa, but frontrunner Donald Trump is upending the campaign by defiantly refusing to attend. Trump's gamble has left the presidential race in uncharted waters just days before Iowans vote on February 1, insisting he will not back down in his feud with debate host Fox News.Instead, the billionaire has doubled down, hosting a rogue, rival event for US military veterans at the same time that his own party is showcasing its candidates for president to all-important Iowa voters. / AFP / William EDWARDS (Photo credit should read WILLIAM EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, waves during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Protesters, left, are confronted by supporters during a campaign event for Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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But Tom Veenstra, senior director of a job-placement service in the area, disagrees, telling the Times, "We have hundreds of qualified applicants for jobs like those."

In truth, there are plenty of reasons for employers to prefer guest workers over Americans, even if the former boast no superior qualifications. While foreign employees must receive an area's "prevailing wage," as determined by the Labor Department, they have no power to leave their jobs without forfeiting their right to reside in the country. This leaves guest workers with no leverage to request raises and discourages many from reporting mistreatment or abuses on the job.

Trump's claim that he has only turned away American workers due to insufficient qualifications is undermined by his own rhetoric at a Republican debate in November.

"Wages are too high," Trump said, when asked if he would support raising the minimum wage. "We're not going to be able to compete against the world."

Trump's preference for guest workers is likely driven by the need to compete in the hospitality industry's "free-market." According to the Times, many other clubs in the Palm Beach area also rely on foreign employees. If one resort is able to lower its prices through cheaper labor, all others must follow suit or operate at a disadvantage. This may be why the Mar-a-Lago has made no significant effort to up its hiring of American workers, even after Reuters's report made its present staffing a political liability for Trump.

If the Donald wants to protect American workers' employment prospects, he'd be better off putting forth plans to reform the country's guest-worker programs than pretending he can restore a bygone era of American manufacturing. Before President Trump brings our jobs back from China and Mexico, he should probably see if he can "bring them back" from Palm Beach.

Related: Also see the celebrities backing Trump:

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20 celebrities who endorse Donald Trump
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Donald Trump has turned away hundreds of American workers to hire cheap foreign labor instead

Stephen Baldwin


Baldwin, who was fired by Trump on two different seasons of "The Celebrity Apprentice," said during an interview with Don Lemon on an episode of "CNN Tonight" that Trump would make a "great" president "because he's not a politician, and he doesn't care what anybody thinks."  

Photo via Getty

Gary Busey

The actor endorsed Trump back in 2011, even after being fired from season four of "The Celebrity Apprentice," and offered his praise for the presidential hopeful again recently. "He's a great guy. He's sharp. He's fast," he told Fox411. "He can change the country after the last eight years."  

Photo via Getty

Dennis Rodman

The retired pro-basketball player tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016." He was fired from season two of "The Celebrity Apprentice." 

Photo via Getty

Lou Ferrigno

When asked by TMZ for his thoughts on Trump, the actor and former bodybuilder said, "I hope Donald goes all the way." He was also fired from a season of "The Celebrity Apprentice." 

Photo via Getty

Ted Nugent 

The musician wrote an article for WorldNetDaily in which he said, "[Trump] should be given the Medal of Freedom for speaking his mind in such a bold, honest, and straightforward manner."

Photo via Getty

Tila Tequila 

The model and reality star posted a video on YouTube expressing her support for Trump.

Photo via Getty

Wayne Newton

The Las Vegas entertainer announced his support on "Fox and Friends," “I love Donald, and he would make a great president,” he said. But he also voiced his support for other hopefuls, such as Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson. 

Photo via Getty

Willie Robertson

The businessman and star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” supported Trump at a rally in Oklahoma last year, where he was invited up on stage. He officially announced his endorsement in January. 

Photo via Getty

Jesse Ventura 

Jesse Ventura

The former pro wrestler, former Minnesota governor, and actor was speaking with previous Trump staffer Roger Stone for "Off the Grid," when Ventura said, "I shocked my staff today. I came in and said, ‘You know what, as far as the Republicans are concerned, I hope Trump wins.'" Though he also added, "Now I’m not a Republican — I’m not a Democrat either — so ultimately, I’d like somebody else to win overall.”

Photo via Getty

Terrell Owens 

The retired NFL wide receiver told TMZ Sports, "This may be what the country needs and Trump... He’s a guy who won’t put up with B.S. and has what it takes to change how government is run." He appeared on the most recent season of "The Celebrity Apprentice."   

Photo via Getty 

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