Rubio Claims Trump Hired Illegal Workers From Poland
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio charged Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump with hypocrisy for hiring undocumented immigrants for his real estate projects instead of American citizens.
“He hired from Poland, and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment,” Rubio said. “That’s a fact. People can look it up. I’m sure people are Googling it right now, ‘Trump Polish workers.’ You’ll see $1 million for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did.”
Politifact did some Googling and also reached out to the Rubio campaign, which referred them to media reports about a protracted class-action lawsuit involving his hiring of Polish aliens 36 years ago.
Sometime between 1979 and 1980, Trump hired a contractor to demolish an old building in midtown Manhattan to make way for Trump Tower. The contractor signed on workers from a local union and, to meet Trump’s tight deadline, also brought on 200 undocumented laborers from Poland dubbed the “Polish Brigade.”
The Polish employees were off-the-books, working 12-hour shifts seven days a week for $4 to $5 an hour, with no overtime. Some workers were never paid what they were owed.
In 1983, union members sued a union boss, Trump and his contractor for cheating the union out of pension and welfare funds by hiring the Polish Brigade. Trump owed the union pension fund $1 million, the plaintiffs said.
Appearing in court in 1990, Trump blamed the violations on the contractor and denied knowing that the Polish workers were undocumented.
The case dragged on until 1999 when Trump quietly settled, according to the New York Daily News, but the agreement was placed under seal.