While Donald Trump was busy demonizing immigrants and their families in his failed, expensive attempt to win his useless border wall, his New York golf club was quietly firing long-term undocumented employees, some of whom had worked at the Westchester resort for years. Employees said that management knew about their immigration status, while others, NBC News reported, “said they believe Trump must have known.”
Trump is, in fact, an anti-immigrant asshole who has a long history of benefitting from the very hard-working people he demonizes, because Westchester is the second Trump resort since December revealed to be exploiting undocumented immigrant labor. Like at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, undocumented workers allege that Westchester management knew damn well about their status. But it doesn’t end there.
Banquet chef Jesus Lira told The Washington Post “that, on two occasions in 2008, an accountant at the Trump club rejected his fake documents and told him to go obtain better ones,” saying that “I can’t accept this, go back and tell them to do a better job.” He did, and the accountant was apparently pleased because Lira continued working until his firing this month. When it comes to Bedminster, former workers said that management helped them procure false paperwork.
Hiring undocumented immigrants “didn’t matter,” a former manager, who wanted to remain anonymous (yes, you should be ashamed), told The Washington Post. “They didn’t care. It was, ‘get the cheapest labor possible.’” While Trump said in 2016 that E-Verify—a database used by employers to verify the immigration status of employees—should be “used to the fullest extent possible,” Westchester reportedly doesn’t, and “Eric Trump did not answer a question about whether the club would join the system.” How’s that for some bullshit?
What shouldn’t be forgotten here is that these brave workers are, like the overall undocumented immigrant population, deserving of a chance to be able to work, live, and thrive here legally, yet some have allegedly been subjected to abuse and mistreatment by Trump management because of their immigration status. Anibal Romero, an attorney representing a number of these former workers, said that employees were physically abused—former housekeeper Victorina Morales three times by her supervisor—and “threatened with deportation” by management.
“To paraphrase then-candidate Donald Trump: investigators, if you are listening, please investigate the criminal activities of Donald Trump and his properties,” Romero said in a statement following the report on Westchester. “Today’s Washington Post story is devastating to anyone who cares about the rule of law and basic human decency. Donald Trump, his people, and his companies have been abusing the law through coercion, procurement of false documents and, in some cases, physical abuse. The Trump operation is a criminal enterprise that knowingly broke the law.”
Like so many Trump policies and actions, former workers and their families have been left in the lurch. Margarita Cruz worked as a housekeeper for eight years, until her recent firing, which she managed to capture on audio. Her years of sweat and dedication were gone in an instant, used and thrown out by her former boss. “We’re just working,” she said. “How can they take our taxes, charge us for this or that, and not give us any rights? When they take our taxes, we count as people. Why don’t we count in other things? We don’t exist.”