Lawyer: Trump Resort Hired Undocumented Workers
NEW YORK (AP) — Two women who cleaned rooms set aside for President Donald Trump at one of his golf resorts in New Jersey say they used false papers to get hired, their supervisors knew it and that many employees there also lack legal documents.
Anibal Romero, a lawyer representing Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, said on Thursday that the two used false Social Security and permanent residency documents to get jobs at Trump's golf resort Bedminster, New Jersey. He also said that a supervisor hurled racial epithets at the women and threatened them with deportation to get more work out of them.
The two are now considering a lawsuit against the Trump Organization for workplace abuse and discrimination. One of them, Morales, who says she cleaned Trump's clothes and toilet and made his bed, is also seeking asylum.
"This isn't a hotel with 300 employees — they were both in charge of cleaning the president's house," said Romero, referring to a guest house on the property set aside for Trump. He added that Morales, 47, was repeatedly called a "donkey" and "dog" by a supervisor.
The Trump Organization did not answer questions emailed by The Associated Press about the allegations, but said in a statement that it has the highest standards for job applicants.
"We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices," the company said in an email. "If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately."
The New York Times first wrote about the two women, noting that there is no evidence that the Trump Organization knew they did not have legal documents.
Both women were described by the Times as finding Trump demanding as an employer, but kind.
Morales, who left Guatemala in 1999, says Trump would sometimes give her a $50 or $100 tip. Both told the Times that at least two supervisors were aware of their status and helped them evade detection.
Their lawyer, Romero, said Morales was hurt by Trump's comments disparaging immigrants here illegally as violent criminals. He says that she believes that Trump's comments may have emboldened a supervisor at the resort to verbally abusing workers, calling them "stupid illegal immigrants."
Romero said that Morales believes at least a dozen workers at the resort do not have legal documentation to work.
Morales, who spoke to the Times directly, told the newspaper that she understood that she could be fired and deported but felt she had to speak out.
Romero said that the other worker, Diaz, 46, has legal permanent residency. He said she left the Trump club in 2013 shortly after Morales was hired.
Romero has called for federal and state investigations into the matter.
"This toxic environment was designed to intimidate these women, leaving them fearful for their safety and the safety of their families," he said in a statement.
Trump has called for a crackdown on immigrants living in the country illegally. In addition to demanding funding for a wall on the Mexican border, his administration has stepped up workplace raids and urged companies to screen workers more carefully.
This story corrects spelling of first name Anibal.
Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com