Two Candidates for President Have Used Foreign Workers in Their Private Lives, with Highly Different Wage Patterns

By David North on August 7, 2023

Two of the Republican candidates for president have used foreign workers in their private-sector lives in recent years.

One has used many of them, an increasing number as time passes, and pays them peanuts.

The other has employed few of them, a decreasing number of them, and pays them handsomely.

The first of these is Donald J. Trump and his residence Mar-A-Lago, the second is long-shot Vivek Ramaswamy and his corporation, Roivant Sciences.

Do I have this information on Trump from the White House or another biased source?

Nope: This headline is from the solid, staunchly pro-business and pro-H-1B program, Forbes, on June 14: “Mar-A-Lago Sought 380 Foreign Workers During Time Trump Had Access to Classified Documents”.

Forbes reporter Zach Everson was not dealing with Trump’s various hotels and golf clubs, he was writing only about the place where Trump lives, in Palm Beach, Fla. The other entities also use large numbers of (generally) H-2B, seasonal, nonimmigrant workers but were not mentioned in the report. He wrote:

Mar-a-Lago relies on foreign nationals to work as servers, cooks and housekeepers. In 2016, the club sought 65 foreign workers. The figure has increased every year since, with the exception of 2020, when the club shut down in the early days of the pandemic.


The requirements listed on the job orders do not seem particularly strict. For example, the qualifications to be a housekeeper during the 2021 to 2022 season included three months of verifiable housekeeping experience and a drug and background check. The position also required the ability to communicate in English, maintain flexible hours and move 25 pounds. It paid $11.70 an hour.

Now $11.70 an hour, times 2,000 hours, comes to $23,400 a year.

While the comparison is a bit of apples and oranges, the only H-1B job offer that Roivant Sciences has outstanding at the moment comes with a $215,000 annual salary, according to the listing (based on DoL records) in the website. The job is for the chief technology officer. A candidate for public office cannot be accused of seeking to lower American wage levels when he hires anyone at that rate.

In 2022, Roivant sought 16 H-1B slots, four of which were withdrawn, with a wage range of $79,000 to $285,000 and with the $79,000 one being the only job that paid less than $100,000. In 2023, the same data set shows Roivant winning seven H-1B slots and withdrawing six of them, suggesting either a waning corporate interest in the program, or that the firm had overstated its needs in the H-1B lottery, as so many other firms have done in the recent past.

We wondered if any of the governors in the race had, as heads of state governments, hired H-1Bs to work for their respective states. A search of the website turned up no such hires or attempted hires for the states of Arkansas, Florida, or North Dakota, the governors or ex-governors of which are among the candidates. In all of those states, however, the state-run universities had multiple bids for H-1B workers.