Look Back at Alleged Use of Undocumented Immigrants in Trump Tower Construction in the 1980s

PHOTO: Donald Trump, real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and billionare spends most of his day attending board meetings in which he manages the construction of his buildings in his offices on August 1987 in New York City.Joe McNally/Getty Images
Donald Trump, real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and billionare spends most of his day attending board meetings in which he manages the construction of his buildings in his offices on August 1987 in New York City.

One of the critiques Sen. Marco Rubio threw Donald Trump's way during the latest Republican presidential debate was that the real estate mogul had to pay out a seven-figure sum for allegedly using undocumented immigrants during a decades-old construction project.

The particular project in question is one dear to Trump's heart -- the 1980 demolition of a building to clear the way for his eponymous tower on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

PHOTO: Donald Trump speaks during the Republican presidential debate, Feb. 25, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks during the Republican presidential debate, Feb. 25, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

During Thursday night's debate, Rubio claimed that Trump had to pay $1 million after using undocumented Polish workers, but it is unclear how Rubio came up with that number.

The lawsuit in question -- which claimed that the workers were underpaid and that money wasn't paid into a union benefits fund -- was first filed in 1983 and the trial lasted for 16 days in the summer of 1990, according to court records.

During the trial, The New York Times reported that Trump testified he didn't know that the 200 workers who worked for the contractor hired to do the demolition of the Bonwit Teller building so construction could start on the Trump Tower, were undocumented immigrants.

PHOTO: The construction of Trump Tower is seen in this file photo from 1981.Barbara Alper/Getty Images
The construction of Trump Tower is seen in this file photo from 1981.

Instead, he said that the workers were hired by Kaszycki & Sons Contractors.

But during the trial, Daniel Sullivan, a labor consultant and FBI informant, testified that Trump knew that the contractor was employing undocumented workers, citing a phone call in the summer of 1980 about the subject, the Times said.

Trump downplayed Sullivan's role as an adviser and said: "I really still don't know that there were illegal aliens," according to the Times.

PHOTO: The Trump Tower building is viewed on 5th Avenue, July 22, 2015, in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The Trump Tower building is viewed on 5th Avenue, July 22, 2015, in New York City.

In the middle of the 15-year civil case, the attorney for the plaintiffs said they were seeking money to be put into benefit funds for union pensions and were expecting a $1 million to $2 million payment. The case was reportedly settled in 1999, but there was no public disclosure about any settlement or amount.

Trump's team did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

When he responded during the debate, Trump did not disclose the terms of any purported settlement.

"I've hired tens of thousands of people. He brings up something from 30 years ago, it worked out very well. Everybody was happy," Trump said.