Former models that worked for Trump are no longer staying quiet about the "modern-day slavery" they experienced.
Considering Trump’s strong anti-immigration stance and his fervent declarations of the strict laws he would put in place if he were to become president, it’s surprising to find out that he himself pushed for immigration laws to be broken for the sake of one of his own companies.
Perhaps it’s not too shocking, since he has been involved in a number of things he has spoken out against, but it’s awful that Trump supporters are continuing to look the other way and make excuses for his past behavior.
Former models who worked for Trump Model Management have recently come forward and revealed that they were illegally brought into the United States to work and didn’t receive work visas until months later, if ever.
The women were forced to share bunk beds in small rooms, pay an enormous amount of rent, and work for cheap labor in what one of the models referred to as “modern-day slavery.”
Included in the models that came forward are Canadian-born Rachel Blais and two anonymous women referred to as Anna and Kate. The latter two women were never given work visas, despite the months and years they spent in the U.S. working for the agency, and said that they were pretty on edge most of the time from fear of getting caught. Blais told Mother Jones,
“Honestly, they are the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few.”
In the dormitory-style apartments they were given, Blais claimed that she was charged $1,600 for a room that she shared with five other models. As a reference point, a similar apartment nearby would cost $1,350 to live alone.
These highly-inflated rent prices, along with the 20% commission and other mysterious fees charged by the agency, kept the women poverty-stricken. One Jamaican-born model, Alexia Palmer, said that in the three years she worked for the agency, she only earned a profit of $3,880.75. Kate told Mother Jones,
“He doesn’t want to let anyone into the US anymore. Meanwhile, behind everyone’s back, he’s bringing in all of these girls from all over the world and they’re working illegally.”
After all of the work that Blais went through to be one of the rare models there with a working visa, the company deducted the costs of securing her visa from her wages.
Kate expressed her disgust with Donald Trump’s racist remarks, saying, “He doesn’t like the face of a Mexican or a Muslim, but because these [models] are beautiful girls, it’s okay? He’s such a hypocrite.”
Since the models were so young, some as young as 14, they felt like they were in no position to ask questions or protest the conditions they were living in or else they wouldn’t get jobs. Scared, alone, and poor, they were exploited by Donald Trump.
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