Donald Trump’s offensive comments about Haiti and other countries amid talks about extending temporary protected status for immigrants could come back to haunt him in more ways than one.
Beyond any political ramifications, it could blow back on his favorite resort property. Mar-A-Lago, sometimes dubbed the “Winter White House,” reportedly employs more Haitians than nearly any other nationality. (Romania is the only other one that comes close, according to The New Yorker.)
The club applied for and received 70 H-2B visas for its recent 2017-2018 season. The H-2B is a visa that is targeted to low-cost, low-skilled workers and is not under any executive review. The H1-B, which has been in the news, provides visas for technical employees.
H2-Bs, in other words, provide temporary work visas for people to fill seasonal jobs that Americans don’t want. So when Trump asked, “Why do we need more Haitians?” Thursday, his resort was one of the answers to that question.
Trump’s Haitian query was part of a larger series of comments that have brought condemnation to the Oval Office this week. Speaking of Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations, Trump reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” during a meeting on Thursday.
Trump, in a Friday morning Tweet, denied saying anything derogatory about Haitians and denied using the word “shithole.”