POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Workers at Trump NJ golf course claim they worked without legal documents

BY Brenda Flanagan, Senior Correspondent |

Two women who labored for years at Donald Trump’s golf club in Bedminster claim they cleaned his toilets and ironed his underwear for $13 an hour but worked without legal immigration documents. They say many club staffers are unauthorized immigrants and that Trump treated them decently, even tipped them generously. But after he won the presidency, they say his virulent, anti-immigrant rhetoric infected their workplace.

That, according to a New York Times articles, where Guatemalan-born Victorina Morales says, “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 to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”

their attorney, Anibal Romero, told CNN, “Vicki has been physically assaulted on numerous occasions. They were both threatened with deportation. They were coerced into doing work they didn’t want to do. … We have been in contact with federal authorities and we have been in contact with state authorities.”

Romero says Morales, who worked at Trump’s club until Thursday, illegally crossed into the United States from Mexico, flew to Jersey and got falsified working papers. When officials red flagged her bogus Social Security card last year, Morales claims a club manager told her where to buy new forgeries, and lent her $165 to pay for them.

“I think it’s important to raise that hypocrisy, that the president is anti-immigrant most of the time but is happy to have them meeting his needs in his home,” said Lauren Herman, supervising attorney with Make The Road New Jersey.

Advocates across New Jersey expressed outrage.

“It’s really important for state and federal authorities to be investigating what’s going on, and also to offer protection. I would be concerned if there are other individuals who are working there now who are vulnerable,” said Herman.

“It’s clear that management had a role in helping exploit these workers, that the company has a culture of exploiting its workers and its contractors, and it’s time for legislation that is fair and just,” said New Jersey Working Families Alliance Executive Director Analilia Mejia.

In the high season, Trump’s Bedminister club can employ 80 staffers, many that are foreign-born. New Jersey does not require employers to use E-Verify to check workers’ immigration status.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not address the story, but said, “We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices. If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”

The White House had no comment.

Romero’s other client, Sandra Diaz, quit work at the club in 2013 and is now a permanent resident. Morales did not report to work at the club Thursday. She has left her home in New Jersey. Romero says he will help her apply for asylum.