When it comes to open borders enthusiasm, few labor organizations are the match of the Las Vegas-based UNITE HERE Local 226. Representing around 60,000 hotel-casino and other employees in Las Vegas and Reno, the union for years has promoted illegal immigration as a means of building membership and bargaining power. That advocacy just might have delivered Nevada to Joe Biden in the presidential election. By its own count, union activists knocked on a half-million doors in the state in its effort to defeat Donald Trump, speaking to more than 100,000 persons. “We think we are the difference maker – without any question,” said UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor at a press conference a couple days after Election Day. Given his union’s stance on immigration, and the compelling evidence of vote fraud in that state, it is thus fair to ask: Did the union play a part in that fraud?
Organized labor, as Union Corruption Update often has noted, until the Nineties held sensible positions on immigration issues. Union leaders recognized that large-scale immigration of uneducated and unskilled foreign workers undercut wages and benefits. If more out of self-interest than patriotism, they were on the right side of the issue. Yet for various reasons, most of all a desire to boost sagging membership, organized labor reversed course starting around 30 years ago. The shift culminated in a declaration by the AFL-CIO executive board in February 2000 that it supported amnesty for all persons living in this country illegally. Pursuant to that, labor officials have lobbied Congress for amnesty and publicly spoke out against effective border and interior enforcement. They view President Donald Trump as the embodiment of evil for stepping up long overdue enforcement of immigration laws. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, for one, denounced Trump’s September 2017 executive order cancelling former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty of 2012 as “a direct attack on union members and union values.”
The New York City-based Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (UNITE HERE), which represents about 300,000 hospitality employees in the U.S. and Canada, makes no secret of its support for massive Third World migration to this country, whether legal or otherwise. In late January 2017, only days after President’s Trump executive orders restricting travel to the U.S., International President Donald “D.” Taylor got on his moral high horse. “With several executive orders this week, President Trump has brought shame upon the United States and its rich humanitarian legacy,” he said. “He has put the lives of refugees, most of them children, fleeing for the very lives, in danger once again.” Mr. Taylor needs a reality check. First, Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” included only seven countries out of several dozen whose population is heavily or overwhelmingly Islamic. Second, those seven nations had been cited by the State Department as terrorist-sponsoring or terrorist-occupied. That executive order was based on a thorough security threat assessment. Third, it is the right of any nation-state, including ours, to vet applicants from abroad prior to allowing them entry. No nation can survive for long without the authority to draw a clear bright line between legal and illegal immigration.
D. Taylor, like predecessor John Wilhelm, ascended to his current job through the ranks of Culinary Workers Local 226, by far UNITE HERE’s largest affiliate. The local has experienced explosive growth these past several decades through organizing a predominantly Hispanic labor force at Las Vegas and Reno hotel-casinos. When Taylor left Las Vegas to become International President in 2012, the local union continued to move the Democratic Party, the main political driver of mass immigration, ever further leftward. In the recently concluded election cycle, Local 226 trained thousands of union members and supporters to canvass the state’s voters. The activists observed “contactless door-to-door canvassing” coronavirus-related protocols including social distancing, and the wearing of masks and gloves. Priority number one, of course, was replacing Donald Trump with Joe Biden. The blitz paid off. As announced in late November by Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cevaske, Biden defeated Trump by 703,486 to 669,890, a 50.1 percent to 47.7 percent margin.
On November 5, weeks before, UNITE HERE International Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline reiterated the union’s position on President Trump with this blast of cliches:
The unprecedented turnout in Nevada, which was led by those mostly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a mandate on Donald Trump’s failed leadership. Ever since he assumed the office, Trump has been a daily threat to the livelihoods of workers and our families. We are taking back our country and delivering Nevada for political candidates who will represent working families and fight for our issues. Nevadans need comprehensive COVID-19 relief now, a fair economy that centers workers, racial justice that ensures Black Lives Matter, and a democracy that includes all of us — whether we are Black or white, Native or new immigrant, Latinx or Asian.
This is sentimentalized intersectional nonsense. President Trump, a former Atlantic City hotel-casino owner, is about the last person in the world to shut down an economy heavily dependent on the lodging and gaming industries. It was Nevada Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak, in fact, who shut down the state’s hotel-casinos via emergency order on March 17. Trump did everything in his power to balance the objectives of keeping our economy running and minimizing the spread of the coronavirus.
Misplaced political enthusiasm is not illegal. But living in this country without authorization is. And UNITE HERE for years has enabled illegal immigration. While there is no evidence so far that the union directly aided ballot fraud, it is more than reasonable to suggest that it indirectly contributed to it. Common sense dictates that the people most likely to cast illegal ballots are those whose eligibility to vote is already suspect. And in Nevada, the evidence is substantial that a great many ballots were cast illegally – and through a variety of means.
Clark County, which contains about three-fourths of the state’s population including the City of Las Vegas, is the main focus. The Nevada Republican Party has taken note. Party officials last Saturday posted the following message on Twitter: “A whistleblowing employee has come forward in Clark County saying he witnessed mail ballots being counted without signatures being verified.” Attached to the message was a Fox News Channel clip indicating that the whistleblower had completed a sworn affidavit and forwarded it to the U.S. Department of Justice. The whistleblower alleges that he was instructed to overlook cases in which voter home addresses did not match official records. A lawyer associated with the Trump campaign commented: “The affidavit makes clear that we’re not dealing with oversights or sloppiness. This was intentional criminal conduct.”
That’s hardly the whole story. On December 3, lawyers for the Trump campaign and affiliated electors filed suit in state court to prevent Democratic Party electors from casting their ballots for Joe Biden. Jesse Binnall, the lawyer for the Trump campaign, told Judge James Russell of the First District Court of Nevada (Carson City) that fully 1,506 votes cast in the presidential election in Nevada came from deceased persons. And it wasn’t just dead people who “voted.” He and his staff also discovered 2,468 votes cast by persons who had changed their address to one outside the state or the country, 42,284 persons who voted twice, and about 20,000 voters who lacked an in-state mailing address. In addition, about 6,000 vacant addresses were flagged by the U.S. Postal Service. Binnall told the judge that the case was based on Nevada’s mail-in voting law, which allows registrars to send ballots to every registered voter. He added that Clark County failed to provide adequate security for its voting machines. “In the dead of night,” asserted Binnall, “votes appeared and votes reappeared without explanation, and there is no good explanation.”
He and the plaintiffs did not prevail. Judge Russell ruled the next day that there was no clear and convincing proof that the results should be nullified. In a 35-page ruling, he wrote, “Contestants did not prove…that illegal votes were cast and counted that should have been rejected during the signature verification process, or legal votes were not counted that should have been accepted” in numbers that would have swayed the outcome. The Trump people appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, again to no avail. Three days ago, December 8, the Court voted unanimously 6-0 to uphold Judge Russell’s decision. The ruling appeared hasty, if not outright prejudiced. A week prior to the ruling, Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, explained to the Washington Examiner: “In my years of experience in politics, I have never seen the amount of illegal voting like we have documented in Clark County, Nevada. It is a level of corruption I didn’t think could happen in a modern, free country.”
The alleged corruption wasn’t limited to Clark County. In November, revelations surfaced that a voter advocacy group calling itself the Nevada Native Vote Project handed out gift cards, electronics, clothing and other things of value in tribal areas in exchange for documentation of a vote cast. Providing anything of value, whether or not in cash form, in exchange for a vote is a felony. The effort was blatant, too. In a Facebook post, two men could be seen proudly displaying $25 Visa gift cards they had received after dropping off absentee ballots, presumably to a Nevada Native Vote Project volunteer. In another Facebook post, a spokesman for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony appears on a video inside a polling station offering T-shirts, stickers, jewelry, and thousands of dollars in gift cards to voters, very likely part of a raffle. This practice occurred in other tribal communities as well. Elko Indian Colony, Walker River Paiute Tribe, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Moapa Band of Paiute each held voter raffles sponsored by the Nevada Native Vote Project.
None of this should be taken to mean that UNITE HERE Local 226 consciously aided and abetted these scams. But insofar as the union has aided and abetted illegal immigration, that possibility must be investigated. Outside of major party organizations, the union arguably has become the most powerful political organization in Nevada. It is highly partisan toward Democrats and especially the party’s “disenfranchised” voting blocs. At the national and local levels, UNITE HERE will do practically anything to maximize membership, revenues, bargaining power and lobbying influence. Vote fraud in the 2020 presidential election on some level was real, possibly of a magnitude that affected the outcome. Immigration fraud just might have had something to do with that.