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Trump Organization 'Purges' Undocumented Workers, Report Reveals

Sandra Diaz and Victorina Morales, former employees at Donald Trump's golf resort in Bedminster, N.J. (Bebeto Matthews / AP)

President Trump has accused undocumented immigrants of spreading crime and taking jobs from Americans. He even invented a rape epidemic and blamed it on them. But while Trump was railing against undocumented immigrants, his companies were employing them. Now, at least 18 have been fired from golf courses in New York and New Jersey, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

It’s part of what reporters Joshua Partlow and David Fahrenthold call a “purge,” begun, they say, “after a series of reports about the clubs’ employment of workers without legal status.” The New York Times first reported on undocumented workers at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., in December, which set off an internal audit of employees’ immigration status, the Post says.

The employees “worked in food service, maintenance, housekeeping and other jobs at the golf courses. Many said they had held these jobs for years and that the Trump Organization previously had paid little attention to their immigration status,” Partlow and Fahrenthold write.

Eric Trump, the president’s son, who, with his brother, Donald Trump Jr., runs the day-to-day operations of the Trump Organization, said in a statement last month, “We are making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents to unlawfully gain employment,” adding, “[w]here identified, any individual will be terminated immediately.”

Many of the undocumented workers who have been fired were longtime, even prized, employees. Victorina Morales, a housekeeper at the Bedminster club, received a certificate from the White House Communications Agency for her “outstanding” service. She wasn’t immediately fired for speaking out about her and her colleagues’ status, but she told the Times she didn’t feel comfortable returning to work. Juan Quintero, who was fired, told the Post that he had worked at the Trump National Golf Club in New York’s Hudson Valley for approximately 18 years.

“Half of my life,” he told the Post, “and now nothing.”

There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, according to research from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Approximately 8 million of them have jobs. As Miriam Jordan writes in The New York Times, “They are vital to industries such as agriculture, ]hospitality and construction.” Because of their economic impact, “Companies in several sectors have been calling for years for Congress to pass immigration reform legislation that would offer some form of legalization to longtime undocumented residents,” Jordan adds.

Four of the fired former Trump Organization employees visited Congress last week to meet with multiple lawmakers, the Post said, including Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, asking them to open an investigation into Trump’s golf clubs. Menendez said workers “describe a hostile environment where they were verbally abused and threatened.” He asked that they also be protected from deportation during any investigation.

Meanwhile, Morales, the former housekeeper, will attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address, as a guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

Read the full Washington Post story here.


Ilana Novick
Blogger / Editorial Assistant

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