An undocumented immigrant has been working as a maid at Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf club for the last five years, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The Times profiled 46-year-old Costa Rica native Victorina Morales, who says she crossed the southwest border illegally in 1999 and was hired at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., in 2013.
Morales used fake immigration papers to secure employment, showing the outlet a counterfeit green card and Social Security card who she said were purchased from someone known to forge documents. During her time at Bedminster, Morales “made Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies” and was oftentimes within arm’s distance of him while he watched television or hosted interviews for potential cabinet members.
Her husband confirmed that Morales would oftentimes “come home jubilant because [Trump] had paid her a compliment, or bestowed on her a $50 or sometimes a $100 tip.”
Ms. Morales, a Guatemalan with little schooling, said she will never forget when he helped her wipe windows she couldn't reach because she is short. He gave her $50. Ms. Diaz got $100 after Mr. Trump checked the dust in a room and expressed satisfaction with her work.— Miriam Jordan (@mirjordan) December 6, 2018
But despite describing their boss as “demanding but kind,” Morales knew she had to speak up after witnessing Trump’s repeated public attacks on Latin American immigrants. This, along with being forced to listen to a supervisor who repeatedly made abusive comments about her intelligence and immigration status, finally convinced Morales and her friend—another undocumented worker at Bedminster—to speak their truth.
“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 told The Times. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”
I met Victorina and another immigrant, who had worked at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister when she was undocumented, named Sandra Diaz. Both women were hurt by the president's disparaging comments about unauthorized immigrants. Both said they understood the risks.— Miriam Jordan (@mirjordan) December 6, 2018
Trump kicked off his presidential campaign by describing Mexican immigrants as rapists, drug dealers, and crime lords in a June 2015 announcement speech. More recently, he has described called a group of Central American migrants seeking asylum “criminal aliens,” a threat to the “safety of every single American,” “invaders,” “thugs,” “very bad people,” “unknown Middle Easterners” (implication: terrorists), and “a national emergency.”
The president has since deployed troops to the southern border and signed a proclamation barring some immigrants from declaring asylum.
Anibal Romero, the attorney representing Morales and the other former employee who spoke to the newspaper, says that the supervisor responsible for the abuse was the same person who supplied the women with forged documents.
“These women have shown tremendous bravery in bringing forth their allegations against such a powerful family,” Romero said.
Morales acknowledged she could be fired or deported by telling her story. She says she is sure her managers knew of her status. “I ask myself, is it possible that this señor thinks we have papers?” she told the newspaper. “He knows we don’t speak English. Why wouldn’t he figure it out?”