“Like a sweatshop”: the not-so-glamorous lives of foreign Trump models who say they worked in the US illegally https://t.co/sJhePW7wyQ— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) August 30, 2016
Mother Jones has published an article that claims that Donald Trump's New York modeling agency, Trump Model Management, "has profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here."
The models, including Rachel Blais and two others who were given the pseudonyms Anna and Kate for anonymity, said that they lived in dorm-style quarters at an undisclosed address near Tompkins Square Park.
When Blais lived in the apartment [starting in 2004], she recalled, a Trump agency representative who served as a chaperone had a bedroom to herself on the ground floor of the building. A narrow flight of stairs led down to the basement, where the models lived in two small bedrooms that were crammed with bunk beds — two in one room, three in the other. An additional mattress was located in a common area near the stairs. At times, the apartment could be occupied by 11 or more people.
"We're herded into these small spaces," Kate said. "The apartment was like a sweatshop."
Living in the apartment during a sweltering New York summer, Kate picked a top bunk near a street-level window in the hopes of getting a little fresh air. She awoke one morning to something splashing her face. "Oh, maybe it's raining today," she recalled thinking. But when she peered out the window, "I saw the one-eyed monster pissing on me," she said. "There was a bum pissing on my window, splashing me in my Trump Model bed."
Blais gave the publication a detailed financial statement showing that that Trump's agency charged her as much as $1,600 a month for the bunk bed.
On the campaign trail, Trump has not only strongly criticized illegal immigrants but has also proposed criminal penalties for people who overstay their visas. Trump's campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, told Mother Jones "That has nothing to do with me or the campaign." She referred questions to Trump Model Management, who did not respond.
Mother Jones notes that "violating immigration rules has been the status quo in the fashion world for years."