Rubio Blasts Trump for Hiring Illegal Aliens; Trump Responds: 'You Haven't Hired Anybody'

By Susan Jones | February 26, 2016 | 6:39am EST
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., takes part in the Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

( - Several of the debate's most heated moments Thursday night came in exchanges between Sen. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. The accusations and insults ping-ponged back and forth, as with this exchange on immigration issue:

Rubio asked Trump to acknowleged that "you're the only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. You hired some workers from Poland--"

"No, no, I'm the only one on the stage that's hired people. You haven't hired anybody," Trump shot back.

The exchange began when Rubio criticized Trump for advocating "self-deportation." Then he attacked Trump for illegally hiring foreigners instead of American citizens.

"My mom and dad -- my mom was a maid at a hotel, and instead of hiring an American like her, you have brought in over a thousand people from all over the world to fill those jobs instead," Rubio said.

"So I think this is an important issue. And I think we are realizing increasingly that it's an important issue for the country that has been debated for 30 years, but finally needs to be solved once and for all."

Trump defended his plan to deport everyone who is in the country illegally.

"Self-deportation is, people are going to leave as soon as they see others going out. If you look at Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, they started moving people out and the rest of them left. Self-deportation, as I really define it, and that's the way I define it, is you're going to get some to go, and the rest are going to go out.

"As far as the people that I've hired in various parts of Florida during the absolute prime season, like Palm Beach and other locations, you could not get help. It's the up season. People didn't want to have part-time jobs. There were part-time jobs, very seasonal, 90-day jobs, 120-day jobs, and you couldn't get (them filled).

"Everybody agrees with me on that. They were part-time jobs. You needed them, or we just might as well close the doors, because you couldn't get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida."

Rubio criticized Trump for being the "only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally.You hired some workers from Poland--"

"No, no, I'm the only one on the stage that's hired people. You haven't hired anybody," Trump shot back. "And by the way, I've hired -- and by the way, I've hired tens of thousands of people over at my job. You've hired nobody."

"Yes, you've hired a thousand from another country," Rubio insisted.

"You've had nothing but problems with your credit cards, et cetera. So don't tell me about that," Trump said. "You haven't hired one person, you liar."

"He hired workers from Poland," Rubio insisted. (During the construction of Trump Tower in New York 36 years ago, a subcontractor hired workers from Poland.) "And he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment from--"

"That's wrong. That's wrong. Totally wrong," Trump interrupted.

"That's a fact. People can look it up," Rubio said, urging everyone to Google "Trump Polish workers." "You'll see a million dollars for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did it."

"I've hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. Tens of thousands," Trump said.

"Many from other countries instead of hiring Americans," Rubio cut in.

"Be quiet," Trump told Rubio. "Just be quiet. Let me talk. I've hired tens of thousands of people. He brings up something from 30 years ago, it worked out very well. Everybody was happy...And by the way, the laws were totally different. That was a whole different world...But I've hired people. Nobody up here has hired anybody."

Politifact rated Rubio's accusation about Trump hiring Polish workers as "half true."

According to Politifact:

It was Trump’s contractor, not Trump himself, who hired 200 undocumented Polish workers (36 years ago) to demolish a building to make room for Trump Tower in Manhattan. Trump said he didn’t know about it at the time. The lawsuit sought $1 million in damages, and a judge ruled that Trump had to pay $325,000 plus interest.

But the case was appealed and before it was retried, Trump settled the case out of court, so it’s unclear how much he ended up doling out.

Rubio’s statement is partially accurate but missing that context. We rate Rubio’s claim Half True.

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