The Trump Organization has responded to claims that elite properties owned by the president employ illegal immigrants en masse.
“We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and very strict hiring practices,” a Trump spokesperson told Fox News in an e-mailed statement. “If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”
The Organization’s on defense after the New York Times released an investigative article late last week.
Journalists from the Times highlighted the story of Guatemala-born housekeeper Victorina Morales.
Morales says she’s been living in the United States for nearly thirty years. A former agriculture worker in her home country, she reached America in 1999.
In 2013, Morales was hired at Trump Organization property. She admits she used false documents to counter a cursory background check.
Another woman—46-year old Sandra Diaz of Costa Rica—says she started her employ with the Trump Organization before she’d attained legal status. While Diaz is now a legal resident, she backs Morales’ narrative that the president’s properties don’t hesitate to use ‘illegal’ labor.
The Times notes that there’s no evidence to suggest that either President Trump or the organization’s executives knew the immigration status of its various employees.
However, it appears that ‘at least’ two supervisors at the Bedminster, NJ resort were aware. Diaz and Morales say management at that property would take steps to help workers ‘evade detection and keep their jobs.’
“There were many people without papers,” Diaz said, adding that she’d seen other undocumented migrants get hired.
The women’s claim casts some doubt on President Trump’s insistence that the Trump Organization is a responsible employer. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he bragged that he used an electronic verification system, E-Verify, to ensure that only legal workers were on the company’s payroll at a Washington hotel.
“We didn’t have one illegal immigrant on the job,” Trump said, speaking shortly after the Trump International Hotel opened in Washington.
Morales, who still works at the Bedminster property, says she’s worked in close proximity to Trump, before and after his inauguration.
“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people up close,” she said, recounting how she stood on the sidelines while the president interviewed prospective cabinet members.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Morales has taken some offense to how her employer’s made a routine of discounting and insulting immigrant labor.
“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” she said. “We sweat it out and attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”