After revelations by the Washington Post on Friday that Donald Trump employed as many as 100 undocumented workers at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, a top immigration attorney charges that Trump was the head of a “decades long” conspiracy to import illegal workers to the club.
“The Washington Post exposé details a decades long multi-state criminal conspiracy perpetrated by the President of the United States to violate immigration, visa, and trafficking laws,” said David Leopold, a lawyer with the watchdog group DHS Watch and the Ulmer & Berne law firm, quoted by the legal site Law & Crime. “It’s shocking to realize that, as he demonized undocumented immigrants as a candidate, Trump was in the midst of an illegal scheme to recruit, employ and exploit undocumented workers.”
Starting in his 2016 presidential campaign and continuing into his term in office, Trump has frequently sought to portray undocumented immigrants from Latin America as criminals. In a 2015 speech announcing his candidacy, Trump referred to the immigrants as “rapists,” as the Washington Post reported, an assertion he repeated as recently as April of 2018 when he claimed that “women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before” by undocumented immigrants, according to CNN.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals,” Trump said in May of 2018, referring to immigrants attempting to gain entrance to the United States without documentation, according to USA Today.
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But even as Trump was making such pronouncements, his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, and some of his other golf properties, benefitted from what the Washington Post described as “a long-running pipeline of illegal workers” dating back years, all with the knowledge of managers at the golf clubs. In recent weeks, Trump’s golf businesses have fired at least 18 undocumented workers, the Washington Post reported earlier this week.
Operators of the Bedminster club even hid the fact that workers were undocumented from the U.S. Secret Service, which needed their documentation to give them security clearances, after Trump won the 2016 election, according to a report by the New York Times.
Leopold said that the “pipeline” of illegal workers to Trump’s golf clubs would violate federal laws against human trafficking, as well as fraud statutes for the falsification of documents as part of “a pattern and practice of people internationally working to obtain cheap labor,” according to Law & Crime.
“If the president wasn’t involved in various other corruption probes, this would be 24-7 and it should be 24-7. Criminality is criminality,” Leopold told the site. “This would be a scandal if this was a private employer. But this is the president of the United States. It’s stunning.”