Donald Trump has jumped to second place in early-state Republican primary polling on the backs of undocumented immigrants. More precisely, Donald Trump has jumped to second place in the Republican primary polling by calling undocumented immigrants diseased-infested rapists and murderers — comments that have energized the Republican base beyond belief.
The absurdity of Donald Trump can be measured many ways: the number of times he’s gone bankrupt; the number of companies and organization’s he’s sued; the number of times he’s been married — despite his support for “traditional” marriage, as in one man, one woman, one time; the number of secret plans he has to fight the Islamic State; and so on. So it should come as no surprise that The Washington Post found a new way to measure Trump’s absurdity yesterday: the number of undocumented immigrants he’s currently employing.
The Post interviewed roughly twenty people working on construction for Trump’s new luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., and found that a number of them were there in the country illegally. Still more had illegally immigrated before later gaining legal status. They are employed by Lend Lease, a contracting firm hired by one of Trumps companies. In a statement, one of Trump’s spokespeople would only say that they and affiliated companies had complied with all applicable laws when hiring employees for the project.
The workers, many of whom commute from as far away as Baltimore to work on construction for the hotel, which will be located five blocks from the White House, expressed concern that they could lose their jobs at any moment now that the candidate has a political interest in seeing them deported. Others were just (righteously) angry over his remarks:
“Do you think that when we’re hanging out there from the eighth floor that we’re raping or selling drugs?” Ramon Alvarez, 48, a window worker from El Salvador, said during a break Monday morning just outside the construction site. “We’re risking our lives and our health. A lot of the chemicals we deal with are toxic.”
Mediaite called the Post‘s report “the most predictable development in world history.”
After all, for all of Trump’s bloviating against all things Mexico, this is a man who will ditch all of his moral convictions if he thinks it will get him a buck, or a “young and beautiful piece of ass.” As Gabe Ortiz of America’s Voice pointed out, much of his clothing line is manufactured in Mexico.
It will be interesting to see how the GOP base handles the news that their anti-immigrant champion is totally pro-immigrant when it comes to exploiting their labor for personal gain. Mitt “Self-Deportation” Romney took damage over similar charges in 2011, when reports re-emerged that he had hired undocumented immigrants to work on his lawn. Of course, he went on to win the nomination, so history suggests that Republican voter can handle at least some level of immigration hypocrisy from their leaders.
But Trump is taking that hypocrisy to immeasurably absurd levels. So absurd, in fact, that — according to him — he’s going to win the latino vote.