Barbara Boxer Calls For Probe Into Trump Organization Immigration Scandal

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump AP PHOTO/EVAN VUCCI
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump AP PHOTO/EVAN VUCCI

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called for a federal investigation into Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s modeling agency on Wednesday over allegations Trump Model Management intentionally hired foreign models without the proper visas to legally work in the United States.

“I am extremely concerned by the claims levied against Trump Model Management and ask that you open an investigation into the company’s employment practices,” Boxer wrote in a letter addressed to León Rodríguez, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency director. “I hope you will make clear that immigration and labor violations like these will not be tolerated.”

The letter cited firsthand accounts by several former Trump models and a Mother Jones report, which interviewed foreign models who worked on tourist visas that did not give them permission to work in the country legally. Two former models told the publication that “they were coached on how to evade the scrutiny of immigration and customs officers by using fake pretenses for entering the country and even writing false addresses on customs forms.”

After Mother Jones published the piece in late August, Boxer issued a scathing criticism of Trump on Twitter.

Trump’s portrayal of some Mexican immigrants as rapists, criminals, and drug dealers has increasingly strained relations with minority communities, particularly among Latinos. Of note, Boxer’s call to investigate Trump’s organization follows more than a year of boastful rhetoric from the presidential candidate, who has promised to sic a federal deportation force on the country’s undocumented immigrant population, build a wall along the shared U.S.-Mexico border, issue a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, and clamp down on visa overstays. And despite teasing a “pivot” on his immigration policy proposals, there has yet to be a “softening” of his rhetoric.

Still, the Republican presidential candidate has a long, storied history of being affiliated with immigrants working in the country without proper authorization. Last year, the Washington Post interviewed both legal and undocumented construction workers contracted to work at The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Another undocumented immigrant came forward as a busser in the Trump SoHo building’s restaurant in New York City. And as many as 200 undocumented Polish workers built Trump Tower in Manhattan more than 30 years ago. Most recently, some media reports have alleged that Trump’s wife Melania likely worked on a tourist visa when she first came to the United States.