The Washington Post reported over the weekend that, during the government shutdown resulting from the fight over funding for President Trump’s wall, 12 employees at Trump National Golf Club were fired for being in the country illegally.
These firings are show that, even as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was launched on June 16, 2015 with him famously saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” his businesses were long time employers of undocumented immigrants.
They had spent years on the staff of Donald Trump’s golf club, winning employee-of-the-month awards and receiving glowing letters of recommendation.
Some were trusted enough to hold the keys to Eric Trump’s weekend home. They were experienced enough to know that, when Donald Trump ordered chicken wings, they were to serve him two orders on one plate.Washington Post
The particular employees who were fired were mostly from Mexico and say they believe Donald Trump, along with his staff, knew of the longstanding practice of hiring illegals. They say their documents, which they admit were fake and obtained largely in Queens, were not scrutinized by Trump Organization staff.
In fact, one employee, Jesus Lira, says that on two occasions in 2008 a Trump Org accountant rejected his documents and told him to obtain better fakes. According to Lira, he was told, “I can’t accept this, go back and tell them to do a better job.” On his third attempt, with more believable documents in hand, he was hired.
Another employee, Edmundo Morocho, was hired in 2000 with a $50 fake green card that “expired” in 2002. He says that it was more than 10 years before he was told by management to replace it.
A former manager at the golf club told the Post that the attitude towards undocumented workers as “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Another manager said that Trump Organization valued finding cheap labor above revealing illegal workers.
“It didn’t matter. They didn’t care [about immigration status],” said the former manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve ties with current Trump executives. “It was, ‘Get the cheapest labor possible.’ ” The former manager said the assumption at the club was that immigration authorities were not likely to target golf clubs for mass raids.Washington Post
Per the Post, Trump National Golf Club does not participate in the E-Verify system.
The White House declined to respond to the Post’s request for a comment.
Eric Trump, who along with his older brother has been given day-to-day management of President Trump’s businesses, gave an emailed statement, saying, “We are making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents to unlawfully gain employment. Where identified, any individual will be terminated immediately. This is one of the reasons my father is fighting so hard for immigration reform. The system is broken.”
The Washington Post points out that Eric Trump failed to respond to specific questions posed to him about the firings.
For instance, Eric did not say if the club will be participating in the E-Verify system in the future and he did not provide requested information about the club’s process for verifying the immigration status of employees. Mr. Trump also did not give a number for how many illegal immigrants had been fired at other Trump properties.
The attorney representing the fired workers from Trump’s New York club and from his Bedminster club in New Jersey, Anibal Romero, says Trump Organization has demonstrated “a pattern and practice of hiring undocumented immigrants, not only in New Jersey, but also in New York. We are demanding a full and thorough investigation from federal authorities.”
Why It Matters
President Trump has long railed about illegal immigration and the need for a border wall to keep immigrants from coming into the US. The government was shut down for 35 days because he demanded $5.7 billion for the wall. He is continuing to make a case for using the power of his office to declare an emergency, even though his party controlled the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives for two years and not once did he mention the possibility of declaring an emergency.
In June 2016, in a campaign speech delivered at Trump National Golf Club, Donald Trump spoke of the parents of children who had been murdered by illegals. That speech was given in same club where he employed dozens of undocumented workers and while his other properties similarly employed illegal immigrants.
Trump National Golf Club did not use E-Verify to identify illegals. And he has personally profited from the employment of illegals – being provided cheap labor to maintain his properties and provide necessary services – while convincing his supporters of the dangers of hordes of illegals coming across the border.
If illegals are a danger, perhaps we do need a wall… around every Trump property.