How Eric Trump Showed His Dad's Hypocrisy

February 19th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Some are crying hypocrisy as Eric Trump, the sitting president's son, has applied for H-2A visas for 23 foreign-born workers at the family-name-bearing Virginia vineyard. This, even as Trump shocked the political system by demonizing undocumented immigrants from Mexico and ordering a travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries. What's more, since his father’s campaign started, Trump companies have applied for more than 200 visas to employ laborers without American citizenship.

This discrepancy between the Trump family’s actions and some of their father’s rhetoric might have to do with the fact that immigrants, even undocumented ones, are wholly enmeshed in the American social and economic fabric. A 2011 brief by Bread for the World Institute found that over 70 percent of all farm workers in the United States were born outside of the country and that about half of them were undocumented.

Although President Trump reiterated his pledge to “buy American and hire American” on Friday, immigrants have been doing the jobs that Americans wouldn’t for as long as there have been Americans. If history is reliable indicator, in all likelihood, they'll continue to.

Some experts have pointed out that undocumented immigrants contribute over $11 billion in local and state taxes each year. 

The visas most recently applied for by Eric would expire in October, if they are granted, but there are some concerns that he should have before applying for more. The vineyard owned by Eric Trump operates on land under his father’s name, potentially creating a conflict of interest when Eric petitions the executive branch, which his father now leads. If Eric Trump's petition is personally enriching his father, it could be a violation of the emolument clause of the Constitution.