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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trump business accused of human trafficking

Trump made millions by bringing young, beautiful, undocumented women into the US 

Image result for trump model managementThe majority of Donald Trump’s campaign is built on xenophobia, but while his supporters are ranting non-stop about immigrants, Trump himself is taking full advantage of the flaws in our immigration system — at least according to a report in Mother Jones, in which Trump is accused of human trafficking (my words, not theirs).

Are those words a little harsh? Well, according to the report, Trump Model Management has been using foreign models who arrived on tourist visas, not work visas. Yes, that’s a violation of federal law. It gets worse, though. The models are what could be considered indentured servants because much of what they make goes right back into the pockets of Donald Trump.
Founded in 1999, Trump Model Management “has risen to the top of the fashion market,” boasts the Trump Organization’s website, and has a name “that symbolizes success.”
According to a financial disclosure filed by his campaign in May, Donald Trump earned nearly $2 million from the company, in which he holds an 85 percent stake. Meanwhile, some former Trump models say they barely made any money working for the agency because of the high fees for rent and other expenses that were charged by the company.
Mother Jones interviewed three of Trump’s former models, all of whom arrived in this country without proper documentation to be working at all. All of whom compared working for Trump to “modern day slavery.” Two of those models make the claim that the agency urged them to lie.
Two of the former Trump models said Trump’s agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: “If they ask you any questions, you’re just here for meetings.”
That’s not all. The models complained that they were forced to share a two bedroom apartment with at least 10 other models, all at very inflated prices. Most of the models are under age:
“It is like modern-day slavery” (Canadian born model Rachel) Blais said, adding that “most of the girls in the apartment that were not American didn’t have a work visa.”
“We’re hoarded into these small spaces,” Kate recalled. “The apartment was like a sweatshop.”
“I was by far the oldest in the house at the ripe old age of 18,” Anna added.
Source: New York Daily News
A few months ago, the Daily Mail reported on a former model who claims that she should have earned $75,000 a year working for Trump’s agency, but she took home less than $5,000 in three years. She’s suing Trump’s agency.

It’s even rumored that Trump’s wife Melania came to the U.S. illegally.

Act Means Purpose
How the United Nations defines human trafficking
Neither Mother Jones nor the Daily Mail used the words “human trafficking,” but according to the United Nations, the definition certainly applies.

While there’s no evidence in the report of prostitution and definitely no evidence of removal of organs, there was almost certainly deception, fraud and exploitation. Trump would never get away with paying American models so poorly, which is exactly why he imports them.

Next time you hear Trump and his supporters chant, “lock her up,” remember this story. Not only is Trump not fit to be President, he’s not fit to be out of prison.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article and the full Mother Jones piece that inspired it, cover many aspects of how terrible employers – like Trump – exploit undocumented workers. They did not cover another important aspect of the issue, however, namely taxes.

To work at a legitimate job in the US, whether you are a US citizen or an immigrant, you must fill out a W-4 form to set up your tax payments and an I-9 form to establish that you have the legal right to work. If you are working as a contractor, you must provide information so the employer can issue you a 1099 tax form.

These young women entered the US on tourist visas and thus did not have the means to be able to complete the paperwork. So were they (a) paid under the table or (b) given fake Social Security numbers? Did the Trump agency actually “deduct” any of the state and federal taxes owed?  

I saw a lot of this during my time working for labor unions where in addition to exploiting vulnerable people, the bosses were also committing some major tax fraud.                                               – Will Collette

Author Wendy Gittleson is one of the luckiest people on the planet. She actually gets to make a living out of two of her greatest passions, writing and politics. When she's not writing, she's hiking with her dogs, riding her bike or cooking a great meal with her friends or loved one. Follow Wendy on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.