Trump winery worker Omar Miranda told The Washington Post that he was nervous when he found out last year that the Trump Organization was on a firing spree and letting go of longtime employees who, like him, lacked legal status. But the tractor driver was left alone, working through the fall harvest, winning slaps on the back from his superiors and even a $500 raffle handpicked by Eric Trump. Everything seemed fine—or so he thought. On Monday, after the harvest was done, a Trump Winery manager pulled Miranda into her office and fired him.
“So, when we looked at your forms and documents, some of the documentation did not seem genuine, or was insufficient. Do you currently have legal permission to work in the United States?” general manager Kerry Woolard asked, according to a recording obtained by The Washington Post. “No,” he replied. “So unfortunately, this means we have to end our employment relationship today,” she said. “We’re very sad. You’ve been wonderful. If your employment status ever changes, you’re welcome back, of course.” And just like that, after more than a decade, he was out of a job.
Miranda was one of the at least seven undocumented workers fired by the Trump Organization this week alone, becoming the latest in dozens let go since investigative reporting from The Washington Post, Univision, and others exposed the company’s hypocritical hiring practices. On the campaign trail, impeached president Donald Trump uses white supremacist language to demonize immigrants as “invaders,” “criminals,” and “animals.” Behind the scenes, they’re helping run his golf clubs and winery.
From the construction of Trump Tower to the running of his Washington, D.C., hotel, the labor of undocumented immigrants has been a constant at Trump’s businesses for decades now. Miranda said that at the Trump Winery in Virginia, undocumented workers are in the vineyard, in the greens landscaping, and in the hotel on the grounds. What’s also been a constant has been the exploitation. "There was no overtime, at least when I worked, no benefits either,” housekeeper Martha Peña told Univision in May. “If you got sick they didn't pay you."
Other former workers have also described the organization swiftly firing them after years on the job in order to save public face. “He got rid of us,” one former worker from Trump’s New Jersey golf club told TBS host Samantha Bee last year. “For what? So they wouldn’t catch him having illegal workers.” But former housekeeper Sandra Diaz said, “We speak with proof. We have payrolls. We have that we paid taxes without benefits.” Like Diaz, Miranda also has proof of his employment, with The Washington Post reporting that it confirmed it “by viewing pay stubs and observing him punching in at the winery’s security gate.”
Meanwhile, Trump denies, denies, denies what’s in front of our faces. "The Trump brand is built on cruelty,” Anibal Romero, an attorney who represents a number of undocumented workers who have been fired from Trump’s businesses, told CBS News. “He separates kids from parents at the border, he uses language that incites hatred and violence against immigrants. The company makes a profit on the back of immigrants while building his anti-immigrant politics base at same time.”