Senator Calls Again For An Investigation Of Trump’s Modeling Agency

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
Update: Senator Barbara Boxer is doubling down on her call for the investigation of Donald Trump's modeling agency. The crusade was spurred by reports that three former Trump models had allegedly worked illegally in the United States, and under dire conditions. After calling for the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Trump Model Management last week, Boxer now wants the Department of Labor to start an inquiry, as well, Mother Jones reported. "As you know, our labor laws were written to protect workers, especially children, young women, and other vulnerable populations, from mistreatment and exploitation," she wrote in the letter addressed to Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
Boxer also asked for the Labor Department to investigate whether Trump Model Management violated federal labor laws or not, and if the underage models employed by the agency were properly taken care of. Some of Trump Model Management's practices found in the original Mother Jones investigation included allegedly hiring 14-year-old models and housing up to six models per bedroom in small communal living spaces.
Update: September 7, 2016: A U.S. senator wants Donald Trump's modeling agency to be investigated after allegations surfaced last month that three former models had worked illegally in the U.S. while employed by Trump Model Management, Mother Jones reported. Sen. Barbara Boxer wrote a letter addressed to León Rodríguez, the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — an agency that’s part of the Department of Homeland Security — and copied to Labor Secretary Tom Perez. "I am extremely concerned by the claims levied against Trump Model Management, and ask that you open an investigation into the company's employment practices," she wrote. “I hope you will make clear that immigration and labor violations like these will not be tolerated.” Mother Jones exclusively reported in late August that the former models had worked in the U.S. while on tourist visas. This is strictly prohibited under the current immigration laws. On social media, Sen. Boxer shared the story and criticized Trump's current immigration stance.

This article was originally published on August 30, 2016.
Donald Trump may have centered his campaign around his opposition to illegal immigration, but three former models say they worked illegally in the United States while employed by his modeling agency, Mother Jones exclusively reported. Rachel Blais, a Canadian model, told Mother Jones she spent about three years working for Trump Model Management. When she moved to New York City in April of 2004, she said she originally worked on a tourist visa until she obtained an H-1B work visa that fall. A tourist visa strictly prohibits individuals from working in the United States.

Mother Jones reported
that during this six-month gap between Blais arriving and obtaining a proper work permit, she took on several modeling assignments and even appeared on Trump's show, The Apprentice.

"The majority of models who are young, [have] never been to NYC, and don't have papers," Blais told Mother Jones. "I was just put in Trump's models' apartment."
Blais said that the two other women interviewed by Mother Jones — who, in the story, have the pseudonyms Kate and Anna — also lived in that same apartment with her.
Financial and immigration records included in a lawsuit filed by a fourth model show she was also working illegally in the U.S. while employed by the agency, Mother Jones reported. "You're young," Blais told Mother Jones. "And you know that if you ask too many questions, you're not going to get the work."
The GOP candidate has had an active role at Trump Model Management since its inception, Mother Jones reports. Trump has personally signed former participants of his beauty pageants, and even his wife, Melania, was briefly part of the agency in the late 1990s. It has been previously documented that in the fashion industry it's common for models to work in the United States without the proper work permits. And just earlier this month, questions emerged over Melania Trump's past immigration status after a photo of her early modeling days was made public.

More from US News

R29 Original Series