Trump re­sort worker: No re­grets speak­ing out about abuse

Imperial Valley Press - - NEWS - BY CLAU­DIA TOR­RENS AND BERNARD CON­DON

NEW YORK — A Gu­atemalan liv­ing in the U.S. il­le­gally who says she faced abu­sive work­ing con­di­tions as a maid at Don­ald Trump’s New Jersey golf club doesn’t re­gret speak­ing out, even though she might lose her job and be de­ported.

Vic­to­rina Mo­rales told The As­so­ci­ated Press in an in­ter­view Fri­day that she can’t go back to Gu­atemala be­cause her fam­ily has re­ceived death threats, but that she had to stand up for other work­ers with­out le­gal doc­u­ments at the club who have been ridiculed by a su­per­vi­sor as “don­keys” and “dogs.”

“We need to come out and de­fend our­selves,” said 47-year-old Mo­rales, brush­ing away tears. “I had enough with suf­fer­ing.”

Mo­rales, who said she has not been told defini­tively that she’s been fired, said that at least a dozen other work­ers at the Trump Na­tional Golf Club in Bed­min­ster did not have le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Mo­rales and an­other clean­ing woman at the club, San­dra Diaz, said that they used phony So­cial Se­cu­rity and per­ma­nent res­i­dency doc­u­ments to get hired, their su­per­vi­sors knew it and that many em­ploy­ees there also lack le­gal doc­u­ments. They both said they worked at Trump’s house at the club clean­ing his clothes and mak­ing his bed and were an­gered by his re­marks de­scrib­ing im­mi­grants in the U.S. il­le­gally as violent.

They said his com­ments may have en­cour­aged what they de­scribe as ram­pant ver­bal abuse at the re­sort.

“The pres­i­dent says that in the places he owns he does not hire any un­doc­u­mented work­ers . ... It is a lie,” said Diaz, 46, a na­tive of Costa Rica who worked at the club in 2010 to 2013.

The two women’s ac­count was first re­ported by The New York Times on Thurs­day. The Times sub­se­quently re­ported that two other im­mi­grants who worked at the club came for­ward Fri­day to say that they lived il­le­gally in the U.S. when they hired.

The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion said in emailed state­ment that it has strict hir­ing prac­tices and that any work­ers with false pa­pers will be ter­mi­nated. A spokesman for the White House did not re­spond to an emailed re­quest for com­ment.

Mo­rales said that a su­per­vi­sor at the club helped her get phony work­ing pa­pers. She said an­other su­per­vi­sor pushed her against a wall three times, told her to stop speak­ing Span­ish and threat­ened her with de­por­ta­tion if she com­plained.

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