If you ask Google, Alexa or Siri — or any of the resource banks — for the definition of a hypocrite, you’ll be told it’s one who engages in the same behaviors for which he or she condemns others.
And you won’t have to look high and low to find one, now that Donald Trump has moved into the White House.
For fear of being branded a Trump basher, let’s stick to the facts as they relate to the president’s stance on immigrants and immigration.
Donald Trump said often during his campaign for the presidency that it was high time for U.S. citizens and businesses to buy American and hire American. And the media has been busy trying to keep up with his efforts to change immigration statutes and reduce the flow of immigrants into this country. Let’s not even get into the perceived ban of Muslims presently being litigated.
Now, for the fourth year in a row, Trump Vineyard Estates in Virginia has applied for special visas for up to 23 foreign workers to help out in its vineyards. The Charlottesville wine estate was purchased by the president in 2011 and is now run by his son, Eric. Although President Trump is not directly involved in day-to-day operations at the winery, restoring jobs for American workers was a key platform of his successful election campaign.
According to a variety of news reports, the U.S. Department of Labor — which is charged with approving or denying the request — was told Trump Vineyard Estates would pay the requested workers $11.27 per hour for work performed from early April to Oct. 27. The winery asked government officials to grant its application for H-2A visas, which allow foreign agricultural workers to enter this country for seasonal employment. Workers granted such entry are not officially classified as immigrants.
The H-2A program allows American companies to bring in guest workers from abroad if they can demonstrate “there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the temporary work,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Trump’s winery also sought 19 temporary visas under the same program last spring. It also requested temporary visas in 2014 and 2015, ABC News reported.
Bringing in temporary foreign workers for the harvest and related vineyard chores is a common practice in wine-producing countries.
According to a new report from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, immigrants make up 32 percent of farm workers in Virginia.
Trump’s pledge to hire and buy American seems to be at odds with his own actions and those of his immediate family.
Last July, Trump sought foreign workers at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida through the same government program his son is using.
Trump petitioned to hire 78 servers, housekeepers and cooks for his Palm Beach resort and for the Trump National Jupiter, a golf course in Jupiter.
He made the same argument his son made — that he couldn’t find American workers who would take the jobs.
Seems that the oath of office has been inflated (if you’ll excuse the verb) this time around to include: “Don’t do what I do — do what I say!”
And that’s the definition of an incurable hypocrite.