CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A Virginia winery owned by President Trump’s son has applied to hire foreign workers to pick grapes after the company was unable to find U.S. citizens who want the job.
Trump Vineyard Estates, better known as Trump Winery, has asked to bring in 29 workers this season through the federal H-2A visa program, The Daily Progress reported.
The Charlottesville-area winery is owned by Eric Trump, whose father has called on businesses to hire Americans.
The H-2A program enables agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or other temporary or seasonal services. To apply, employers say they’ve been unable to find American citizens to fill the jobs. At least three other local vineyards also applied to hire foreign workers.
“It’s difficult to find people,” said Libby Whitley, an attorney who has worked with employers, including Trump Winery.
In 2016, 27 Maine farms requested 635 workers through the visa program for a wide range of agricultural work, from picking apples to harvesting broccoli. Several farmers told the Press Herald that they were concerned President Trump’s anti-immigration stance would affect their ability to hire foreign workers this year.
Trump Vineyard Estates initially applied for six foreign workers in December. Two months later, the company applied for 23 more. Both job orders for Trump Vineyard Estates say the primary tasks include planting and cultivating vines, adding grow tubes and pruning grape vines.
H-2A workers and U.S. workers in corresponding employment must be paid a…
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