Trump re­sort hired il­le­gal work­ers: lawyer

Winnipeg Free Press - - BUSINESS - BERNARD CON­DON

NEW YORK — Two women who cleaned rooms set aside for U.S. 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, N.J. 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. “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 there is no ev­i­dence 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, said Trump would some­times give her a US$50 or US$100 tip. Both said 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 said 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 Mo­rales be­lieves at least a dozen work­ers at the re­sort do not have le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion to work. Mo­rales told the news­pa­per di­rectly she un­der­stood she could be fired and de­ported, but felt she had to speak out.

Romero said the other worker, Diaz, 46, has le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dency. He said she left the Trump club in 2013 shortly af­ter Mo­rales was hired.

“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.

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