Victorina Morales is an undocumented immigrant who works as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey who spoke out in an interview with The New York Times.
Morales has worked at the golf club for more than five years, where The Times reports she made Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet, and dusted his golf trophies.
As a result of her “outstanding” work, the White House Communications agency awarded her with a certificate in July.
Morales, a native of Guatemala, says she crossed the US-Mexico border illegally in 1999 and was hired by the Trump Golf Club in 2013 with documents that she admits were fake.
Morales told The Times that she was not the only undocumented worker at the club. The Times reported that Sandra Diaz, a 46-year-old Costa Rica native, was undocumented when she worked at the club between 2010 and 2013. She has since become a legal resident of the United States.
Both women said the housekeeping, maintenance, and landscaping employees include numerous undocumented workers. The Times notes that there is no evidence that Trump or the company knew about their immigration status, though the women said that two supervisors at the club knew and helped workers avoid being discovered.
“There are many people without papers,” Diaz told The Times.
Morales added that a golf course employee drives her and a group of others to work each day because they cannot legally obtain driver’s licenses.
“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people close up,” Morales told The Times, adding that she was hurt by Trump’s rhetoric about Latin Americans.
“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.”
Morales said she knows she may be deported or fired for coming forward but said she is also considering filing a lawsuit alleging workplace abuse and discrimination.
Both women said they’d had personal interactions with Trump, who they described as demanding but kind, and a good tipper.
The Trump Organization did not comment on Morales or Diaz but said any employee who falsified their documents would be fired.
“We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices,” Amanda Miller, the company’s senior vice president for marketing and corporate communications, said in a statement to The Times. “If an employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”
Morales said many undocumented employees left the club when Trump announced his campaign for president and immediately made illegal immigration a core tenet of his rhetoric.
“The workers panicked. A lot of people just left,” she said.
Morales said she expects to have to leave her job after going public and knows she may be deported. She added that she is “certain” that her employer, maybe even Trump, knew she was undocumented.
“I ask myself, is it possible that this señor thinks we have papers? He knows we don’t speak English,” Morales said. “Why wouldn’t he figure it out?”
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