Orlando Immigration Attorney Henry Lim on employment visas and Trump businesses’ use of them.

The Trump Administration has delivered on its promise to crack down on immigration. Deportations are on the rise nationally. Trump is committed to building a wall on the Mexican border. DACA faces an uncertain future. The Trump administration continues to engage in hostile rhetoric regarding immigration, but some visa programs may escape meaningful reform.

Trump and his family rely on various employment visas to operate his array of hotels and golf courses. Since 2001, at least 1,371 foreign visa workers have been hired by Trump family businesses.Trump’s personal financial stake in the outcomes of his immigration policy are troubling, but they are also instructive for learning how these visas work.

These are the visas the Trump family’s businesses rely on the most:

H2-B and HB-2A Visas

 HB-2 and HB-2A visas are what are considered service labor. Cooks, housekeepers, and waiters fall into the HB-2 category, while field labor falls into the HB-2A category. These visas are temporary, and for many industries, the nature of these visas means a constant scramble for workers. The Trump businesses use these visas to staff many hotels and restaurants bearing the Trump name. The HB-2 program has been expanded under Trump’s administration. In July, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workers from 66,000 visas per year to 81,000, further benefiting Trump’s businesses. Three days after the cap was raised, Trump’s properties wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using HB-2 visas.

H1-B Employment Visas

 The H1-B visa program is for those who have “specialty” occupations, ranging widely from modeling to STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math). The Trumps’ businesses have received 283 H-1B visas since 2001 for Trump’s modeling venture, Trump Model Management. In April of this year, Trump signed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, in an effort to counter alleged abuse of the H1-B program. The executive order has had no immediate effect on the program, but it requires four state agencies to offer review for reforms. There have been multiple attempts to reform the H1-B visa program in the US legislature, and they have not been successful.

EB-5 Investor Employment Visas

The EB-5 visa program began in 1990 and is a popular visa option for foreign investors and their families looking to become green card holders. 80% of EB-5 visa holders are from mainland China. The visa is used for those bringing major financial investments to the United States, and benefits many American businesses. EB-5 visas do not require disclosure, so it is hard to determine which trump properties received foreign investments, but we know for sure that Jared Kushner(Donald Trump’s Son in Law) has developed a property with EB-5 investments. Proposed reforms include raising the required investment amounts to $1.8 million or $1.2 million for a targeted employment area.

This does not further account for the estimated $50 million in foreign investments into Trump family business ventures. These visas benefit Trump’s businesses and the US economy as a whole. Removing these employment visas would have a disastrous impact in the economy, and possibly Trump’s businesses as well.


Ask Henry Lim
Do you have a question for Henry Lim? During 18 years of practicing law, he has helped more than 10,000 families move to the United States. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels. For legal assistance, email or call for an appointment: 407-897-8870. Our first consultation is complimentary.