At least five Trump golf clubs eliminate undocumented workers

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By Joshua Partlow and David A. Farenthold | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump's company has fired at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey over the past two months, as part of a purge launched after a series of reports on employment in clubs of workers without a legal license. status.

Eric Trump, the president's son, confirmed the revocations at the Washington Post on Monday, including three undocumented workers at the Colts Neck at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey and three others at the Trump National Golf Club in Philadelphia at Pine Hill in the New Jersey.

Another was fired from the Trump Hudson Valley National Golf Club in Hopewell Junction, New York, said Eric Trump. Eric and his brother, Donald Trump Jr., control the Trump organization on a daily basis.

The Washington Post could not independently verify Trump's numbers. There have also been layoffs on the Trump Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, to which Eric Trump has not spoken.

Previously, the Post had announced the purge of a dozen undocumented workers at the Trump Club in Westchester, representing half of its winter staff. Eric Trump set Monday the figure shot at 11.

It was unclear how seasonal employees expected to return to clubs for spring or summer would be affected.

The wave of layoffs raises questions about the importance of the president's society to rely on undocumented workers, even as he fiercely denounced illegal immigration and demanded the construction of a wall along US-Mexican border.

Trump suggested that if Congress did not give him money for a border wall, he could declare a national emergency. He said Friday: "I think there is a good chance we should do it."

The layoffs are the result of an internal audit by the Trump Organization after a New York Times article in December identified undocumented cleaners at the Trump Golf Course in Bedminster.

"We are striving to identify all the employees who gave false and fraudulent documents to get a job illegally," said Eric Trump in a statement last month. "If necessary, anyone will be immediately fired."

Juan Quintero, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who has been working at the club for 18 years under the name of Trump Hudson Valley, said he was among those fired.

Quintero, 42, said he was a teenager when he left his hometown of Valle de Chalco, near Mexico City, to cross the border and seek fortune in the United States.

He finally discovered that his job was mowing fairways and maintaining greens on the course, and raising four children in the United States.

Last month, a leader of the Trump Organization told him that he could no longer work there, Quintero said.

"Half of my life," he says. "And now nothing."

According to former employees, the number of undocumented workers employed on these courses is probably greater than the number of layoffs, as the workforce is seasonal on many golf courses. Maintenance workers and other employees often leave their jobs at the end of the fall and come back when classes reopen in the spring, leaving only a fraction of the employees stationed during the fall. ;winter.

Some seasonal employees contacted by the Washington Post who were not technically licensed said they expected they would not be rehired in the spring.

The dismissed employees interviewed by The Post came from Latin America. They worked in the areas of catering, housekeeping, housekeeping and other jobs on golf courses. Many said they had held these jobs for years and that the Trump organization had paid little attention to their immigrant status.

The workers interviewed stated that they obtained their jobs by presenting fake social security cards and green cards. Many said their supervisors knew the documents were fraudulent.

Quintero said that he had been warned by a supervisor that announcing the presence of undocumented workers in Trump's properties could mean trouble for him.

"He said," Right now, there is a big problem, "Quintero said. "He told me to look for another job."

A few weeks later, Quintero stated that he had met the head of the Trump Organization who had told him that he had been fired.

On January 18, a human resources officer from the Trump Organization visited the Trump Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, and summoned a dozen workers, one by one, for meetings, in a wave of reported layoffs for the first time by The Post. The executive told them that an audit had revealed that their documents were not genuine and that they should leave the premises.

The Trump organization announced last week that it would start using the electronic E-Verify system to check the immigration status of all its employees. The system allows employers to check documents provided by employees against US government records.

Four of the Bedminster and Westchester workers went to Capitol Hill last week to meet the legislators.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., On Monday called on federal authorities to open an investigation into golf clubs of the Trump Organization.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Menendez said the officials were to "properly investigate" the concerns raised by the four former employees. He requested that the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, a division of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, undertake the investigation.

"The workers we met describe a hostile environment where they have been verbally abused and threatened," he wrote. "Given the seriousness of these allegations, I am asking the FBI / HSI to immediately initiate an investigation into Trump's national golf clubs."

Menendez also asked that the members of the group who remain undocumented be protected from any expulsion during a possible investigation.

Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, two of the workers who met with lawmakers, will attend Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

Elise Viebeck of The Washington Post contributed to this report.