Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He shrugged off news that his Labor Secretary nominee had illegally employed an undocumented immigrant as a domestic servant.

Andrew Puzder admitted late Monday that he had employed a housekeeper who was not legally permitted to work in the United States, and also failed to pay the relevant taxes. He had already come under criticism for a long history of labor-law violations, including wage theft and rampant sexual harassment, on his watch as CEO of fast-food restaurant chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. 

Puzder is the third Trump nominee to have been caught illegally employing immigrants. Both Wilbur Ross, Trump's Commerce Secretary, and Mick Mulvaney, Trump's choice for White House Budget Director, unlawfully hired undocumented workers and evaded payroll and Social Security taxes. Trump himself employed undocumented Polish construction workers to build Trump Tower, and then attempted to have them deported to avoid paying their wages.

The White House referred reporters to a statement from Puzder's own spokesperson. Puzder remains the nominee. Undocumented immigrants taking jobs away from Americans was the centerpiece of Trump's campaign.

Why should anyone care about this?

  • It's bad if a Labor Secretary's experience with labor laws comes mostly from breaking them.
  • Americans worried about competition from undocumented workers may have believed Trump when he campaigned against this kind of thing.