Jamaican Model’s Lawsuit Against Trump Agency Highlights His Continued Use of Undocumented Immigrant Labor
A judge will hear Jamaican model Alexia Palmer’s lawsuit for $225,000 against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s modeling agency.
According to multiple reports, the model is suing the billionaire real-estate magnate for racketeering, breach of contract, mail fraud and violating wage laws for immigrants.
She said the agency took advantage of her and lied about her salary. For three years, she was only compensated an estimated $4,000 for the work she did for the company. The lawsuit states that Palmer wants the $225,000 for back pay. That figure comes out to about $75,000 a year.
“The visa application the company filed with the government requires that people are paid the full amount,” Palmer’s attorney Naresh Gehi said. “It’s a requirement.”
Trump’s lawyers responded by denying that the woman did not work more than 10 days within the three-year period. According to statements by Lawrence Rosen for Trump Model Management, “At the end of the day, this model just didn’t have a successful career, and we fully expect to win.”
Trump has been in hot water before over immigrant labor. Previously, Trump hired undocumented Polish immigrants to clear land in New York City for his crown jewel, Trump Tower.
According to The Daily Beast, 35 years ago, “200 demolition workers — nicknamed the Polish Brigade because of their home country — worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week with no overtime to knock down the old Bonwit Teller building and make room for Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.”
Last year, the Washington Post reported that Trump has employed undocumented immigrants from Latin America and that many are working on a current project in Washington D.C. At the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, undocumented workers are building a brand new luxury hotel near the site and renovating the pavilion.
According to interviews conducted by the Washington Post, “interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the Old Post Office Pavilion revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled in the Washington region to build new lives.”
Trump has repeatedly said that when he is president he will have a great wall to keep out “illegals” — that Mexico will pay for — but he himself has used undocumented immigrant workers before.
Meanwhile, the judge presiding over Palmer’s case will decide by the end of this month whether to proceed with the proposed class-action lawsuit.
Her lawsuit will bring much more scrutiny to the Republican front-runner’s past with immigrant workers.