Former Trump housekeeper and undocumented immigrant Victorina Morales said on TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee this week that she worked at Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf resort for years without any issues. “I was his personal housekeeper,” she said. That all changed when he decided to run for president.
“When I got there I asked the supervisor, ‘Do we need papers here?’” she told host Samantha Bee. “And she says, ‘No, no, it doesn’t matter. But in 2016, they started asking for documents. And then my manager told me, ‘This guy will take you somewhere where they make those papers.’” She was then given $175 for the fake documents, and continued working.
When investigative reporting began to reveal that undocumented workers were still employed at Trump’s clubs well into his presidency and its anti-immigrant agenda, they said, that’s when the mass firings began. “He got rid of us,” another former worker told Bee. “For what? So they wouldn’t catch him having illegal workers.”
Sandra Diaz, who was undocumented when she worked alongside Morales but has since gained legal status, said, “We speak with proof. We have payrolls. We have that we paid taxes without benefits.” Other workers have corroborated this exploitation, saying they saw co-workers being given benefits that they were routinely denied.
Morales teared up at one moment, describing the physical and verbal abuse she endured while working at Bedminster. “When he called us ‘immigrant rapists,’ the supervisor would say, ‘Good, good, that’s nice because immigrants are no good. Garbage.’” She said that immigrants who even thought of speaking out were threatened with deportation.
“Donald Trump and the Trump Organization,” immigration attorney David Leopold told Bee, “are running and engaging in a multi-state criminal conspiracy. You’re talking about forced labor and coercion, you’re talking about trafficking. The penalties for those types of crimes, you’re talking 20 years in prison. By the way, the Trump Organization is not this vast organization. We’re talking about Donald Trump, we’re talking about Ivanka, we’re talking about Eric.”
Trump has denied knowing anything about undocumented workers—“Well, that I don’t know. Because I don’t run it”—but that’s a lie, because he’s sung their praises in the past. “’You know, the truth is I have a lot of illegals working for me in Miami,” he told a group of Dreamers in 2013. ’You know in Miami, my golf course is tended by all these Hispanics—if it wasn’t for them my lawn wouldn’t be the lawn it is; it’s the best lawn.”
Leopold stated there are still undocumented workers being exploited at Trump’s businesses, saying that since Victorina and Sandra bravely spoke out, over 40 more workers have also stepped forward. “Donald Trump has become the poster boy for why we need immigration reform in this country,” he continued. As Bee added, “America’s economy is dependent on immigrants, and even someone who hates immigrants as much as Trump can’t run his businesses without them.”
Bee notes that some of these workers have already turned over evidence to authorities, and the New York attorney general’s office has reportedly interviewed a number of them. “I am not scared,” Morales said. “Because I know we are not alone. We are fighting.” Diaz said, “We have the truth, and when the president of the United States is lying and you have the truth, you can’t hide it.”
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