NY Business Owner Explains Why He Will Vote for Trump: Immigration System Is Rigged to Reward Illegality

By Jerry Kammer on April 15, 2016

If you want to understand why business owner Matthew James Reindl says he will vote for Donald Trump in next week's New York presidential primary, it helps to revisit the testimony he presented 11 years ago at a congressional hearing.

"Many law-abiding businesses are being adversely affected, many forced to close, because of our government's refusal to punish unethical employers for their illegal hiring practices," Reindl of Great Neck, N.Y., told the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims in May of 2005.

Along with his father, Fred, Reindl owns and operates Stylecraft Interiors, a woodworking business that designs and manufactures custom cabinetry for medical and dental offices. It has about 10 employees, he said.

"We have competition that hire illegals, and I would it just leave it at that," Fred said this week in a telephone interview. Like his son, Fred said he will vote for Trump because of the brash businessman's vow to stop illegal immigration.

In his 2005 testimony, Matthew Reindl compared the labor cost borne by "a legitimate employer to that of a lawbreaking employer who pays $500 per week off the books." Listing a variety of federal and state taxes — including charges for state disability, workers compensation, unemployment, and health insurance premiums, Reindl said a legal worker who netted $500 would cost his employer about $1,000 per week.

Asked how the situation has changed since 2005, Matthew, 49, responded, "It's basically status quo. But it has actually gotten worse because back then people were still afraid of getting caught if they hired an illegal. Now nobody's afraid because nobody gets caught. There is no enforcement. Now it's like it's acceptable to hire someone who is here illegally."

Fred Reindl, whose immigrant father started the business in 1951, said he likes what Trump has to say about the need to protect American workers and businesses even though he often disapproves of the way Trump speaks. "He could be saying the same thing without being inflammatory about it," said Fred, 76. "He could bring it out a little softer."

"If it wasn't for Trump, nobody would be talking about these things," said the elder Reindl. "He's the guy that brought it up."

Matthew Reindl closed his 2005 testimony with this Trump-like description of a system that has been rigged to make a sucker out of those who do business the right way:

Lax enforcement continues to drive down the wages of legal immigrants and native-born Americans. If my competitors are allowed to break the law and hire low-wage illegal immigrant workers, they gain an unfair and illegal advantage over my company and depress the wages of my employees. My competitors will undercut my prices and could possibly cause me and other employers who follow the law to go out of business. Why should honest companies suffer for being honest and obeying all the federal and state laws?

Topics: Politics