As Donald Trump’s government shutdown over a border wall dragged on earlier this month, one of his exclusive golf clubs quietly went about the business of firing undocumented employees, many who had worked there for several years, The Washington Post reported.
The unexpected firings took place on Jan. 18 at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, NY, the report said.
Among those fired, according to reporters Joshua Partlow and David Fahrenthold, were a maintenance worker from Mexico who had worked at the club for 15 years, and a housekeeping employee from Mexico who had worked there for eight years. They, like the other workers, were devastated to lose their jobs.
About half of the club’s winter staff were fired, the report said.
On behalf of the Trump Organization, Eric Trump emailed a statement acknowledging the firings, adding that it was one of the reasons “my father is fighting so hard for immigration reform. The system is broken.” He did not answer other, more specific questions, the Post said.
“The firings highlight a stark tension between Trump’s public stance on immigration and the private conduct of Trump’s business,” the newspaper noted.
In December, The New York Times wrote about several undocumented employees at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. In that story, an employee said managers at the golf club knew they were undocumented. Later, an attorney representing the former employees said that he had turned over fake green cards and Social Security numbers to investigators from the state attorney general’s office. According to that report, managers at the Trump Organization’s NJ golf club allegedly obtained the fake documents for the former workers.
The Post’s story paints a similar picture at the NY club, noting that accountants allegedly knew workers were applying and being hired with forged immigration documents. The club does not use E-Verify.
Per the report, citing two former managers at the NY club (emphasis mine):
The other former manager said the broader Trump Organization placed far more emphasis on finding cheap labor than it placed on rooting out undocumented workers. The former manager characterized the attitude at the club as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“It didn’t matter. They didn’t care [about immigration status],’ ” said the former manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve ties with current Trump executives. “It was, ‘Get the cheapest labor possible.’ ” The former manager said the assumption at the club was that immigration authorities were not likely to target golf clubs for mass raids.
Something tells me that the Trump Organization’s immunity from mass raids isn’t going to last forever, although any raids in the future might not focus specifically on immigration violations, I’m guessing.