Donald Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club Hired Undocumented Immigrants, Workers Say

Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea hits her tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship at Trump National Golf Club on July 16, 2017 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Matt Sullivan / Getty Images

A new report from the New York Times alleges that Donald Trump’s private New Jersey club has hired undocumented workers in the past, according to CNN.

The New York Times spoke to two women who said they entered the U.S. illegally, and became employed at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

One of the women, Victorina Morales, was born in Guatemala. She came to the U.S. in 1999, and obtained a job at the club in 2013. She used phony documents to gain employment as a housekeeper.

Sandra Diaz is from Costa Rica. Though she is now a legal resident of the U.S., she was undocumented when she worked at Bedminster from 2010 to 2013.

This looks pretty bad, considering that Trump has taken such a hard stance against illegal immigration. He campaigned on building a border wall and continues to tout this idea, and he deployed troops to the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of a caravan of immigrants who began walked toward the U.S. last summer.

According to the NYT report, there is no evidence that either the Trump Organization or Trump himself knew these two employees were undocumented.

However, according to both women, there were at least two supervisors at the club who were aware of their illegal immigration status. These supervisors helped the women avoid being detected as illegals.

Diaz says “there are many people without papers” at the club, and she saw other undocumented workers get hired in addition to herself.

The counsel for the two women, Anibal Romero, says they were mistreated as employees at the club.

“While working at Donald Trump’s estate in Bedminster and interacting with the President and his immediate family, my clients and others were repeatedly subjected to abuse, called racial epithets and threatened with deportation,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“This toxic environment was designed to intimidate these women, leaving them fearful for their safety and the safety of their families.”

In 2015, the Washington Post reported that it interviewed workers who were employed on the construction of Trump International Hotel in Washington. These workers said they entered the country illegally. At the time, Donald Trump denied hiring any undocumented workers.

Trump’s Jupiter, Florida, golf course and his Mar-a-Lago resort, which he calls the “winter White House,” hired foreign guest workers through the H-2B visa program. In 2017, both properties filed papers to hire additional foreign workers through the program.

“I told them that I don’t have papers, I don’t speak English and that I was an immigrant,” Victorina Morales said in an interview Thursday, according to NBC News.

Morales says she understands that by coming forward, she is risking deportation.

She’s also risking being fired. Morales is currently working for the golf club.

“But I feel good, because I came out of obscurity, and I’m afloat,” she said.

“Because you get tired of so many humiliations. You get tired of getting treated like a stupid mule in a place where you’re serving, trying hard…It’s difficult, because I have felt humiliated in many ways.”

Diaz says that she came forward “because it’s time.”

“Everyone who comes to this country loves this country, and I love this country…the situation for immigrants right now is very difficult,” Diaz said.