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‘Like modern-day slavery’: Foreign-born Trump agency models say they worked illegally without visas

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Donald Trump has made illegal immigration the central issue of his campaign — but he has quite a long history of employing undocumented workers at his own companies.

Mother Jones has just published a big report about foreign-born women who once worked for Trump Model Management and who are alleging that the modeling agency regularly broke immigration laws by getting them into the U.S. and having them do work without obtaining proper visas.

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Canadian-born model Rachel Blais gave Mother Jones detailed documentation showing how she worked for Trump Model Management for a whole six months before the agency obtained a proper visa. Additionally, two models from other countries — given the pseudonyms Anna and Kate to protect their identities — told the publication that the agency never even bothered to obtain work visas for them.

“I was there illegally,” Anna said.

What’s more, two of the models claimed that Trump’s agency “encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live.”

And because these models were in the country illegally, the agency had tremendous power over their lives — after all, most models wouldn’t risk defying the company’s decisions if they feared deportation.

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Among other things, the agency forced its models to live in expensive apartments whose monthly rents chewed through their earnings.

“I only got one check from Trump Models, and that’s when I left them,” she said. “I got $8,000 at most after having worked there for three years and having made tens of thousands of dollars… It is like modern-day slavery.”

Adding to the indignity, the agency often forced multiple models to share these pricey apartments, which meant they were paying a lot of money each month for living conditions that weren’t even comfortable.

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“We’re hoarded into these small spaces,” Kate told Mother Jones. “The apartment was like a sweatshop.”

The whole report is stomach-churning but well worth your time — check it out at this link.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News ripped to shreds by media analyst for running state-news network briefing for Trump

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Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple unleashed hellfire on former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News for hiring her to deliver the White House spin for the president on their air.

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Brutal new recession indicator: Manufacturing sector contracts for the first time in a decade

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As many as 20 corrections officers have been subpoenaed by grand jury investigating Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide

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According to sources interviewed by CNN, as many as 20 correctional officers are being called to testify before the grand jury investigating how Jeffrey Epstein was able to kill himself.

It was reported late Wednesday that there were eight officers who knew to watch Epstein while he was housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein had left "suicide watch" after an alleged suicide attempt, and he was supposed to remain under the watchful eye of officers. However, the officers are overworked and the prison understaffed, requiring officers to work several overtime shifts, the officer's union explained.

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