Trump wins visas to hire 70 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago

The Trump Organization has won the permission to hire 70 foreign workers to serve as maids, cooks and servers for the 2017-2018 tourist season, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.

The Palm Beach Post reported Friday that Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., won the permission after first applying for the H-2B visas in July. The request was originally filed during Trump's "Made In America" week at the White House.

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Palm Beach's unemployment rate currently sits at 3.6 percent. A local job placement agency told the Post that there are plenty of local workers who would be eager to fill the positions.

"We currently have 5,136 qualified candidates in Palm Beach County for various hospitality positions listed in the Employ Florida state jobs database," CareerSource spokesman Tom Veenstra said Friday.

The number of foreign workers hired by Mar-a-Lago is a slight increase from the 2016-2017 season, when the resort hired 64 foreign workers using H-2B visas. Trump defended the practice during a GOP primary debate in March of last year.

“It’s very, very hard to get people,” Trump said. “Other hotels do the exact same thing.”

In September 2016, Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that "getting help in Palm Beach during the season is almost impossible."

To get the visas, employers must typically first establish that there are not enough American workers able or willing to fill the temporary positions in order to qualify for H-2B classification.

The Trump administration expanded the H-2B program in July, saying it would offer an additional 15,000 visas because not enough American workers are willing or able to fill the country's employment needs for the rest of fiscal 2017.