During the final night of the Republican National Convention, White House official Ivanka Trump claimed that building is what her impeached father has “done his whole life.” We’ll maybe give him “supervised,” but from the demolishing of the site that would become Trump Tower to finishing construction of his Washington, D.C. hotel, it’s undocumented immigrants who actually helped build that.
They’re the same undocumented immigrants who he then publicly attacks for political purposes, immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice says in a new video further exposing Trump’s immigration hypocrisy. “[W]hen you hear Trump attacking immigrants on the campaign trail … remember he doesn’t mind immigrants when he makes money off them. This November, say no more to Trump’s hypocrisy and cruelty.”
The America’s Voice video, released just under 70 days away from the presidential election, sums up in just over a minute decades of exploitation by the Trump Organization. And it hasn’t just been undocumented construction workers, either. From golf clubs to a winery, Trump and his adult children have exploited undocumented labor in every facet of their family’s business.
Prominently featured in the video is Sandra Diaz, who was undocumented at the time she worked as Trump’s personal housekeeper at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. She was among the first of his former workers to speak out, leading a panicked Trump Organization to begin firing current workers en mass. “He got rid of us,” one worker told host Samantha Bee last year. “For what? So they wouldn’t catch him having illegal workers.”
But workers like Diaz haven’t been letting him get away with it. “We speak with proof,” she says in the America’s Voice video. “We have payrolls. We have that we paid taxes without benefits.” Other workers have corroborated this exploitation, saying they saw their co-workers being given benefits that they were routinely denied.
David Leopold, a leading immigration attorney and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Bee the numerous allegations of abuse, exploitation, and fraud committed by the Trump Organization against undocumented workers lead Leopold to believe the business is “running and engaging in a multi-state criminal conspiracy.”
“You’re talking about forced labor and coercion, you’re talking about trafficking. The penalties for those types of crimes, you’re talking 20 years in prison,” he said. It’s a criminal enterprise that goes beyond the impeached president too, he continued. “By the way, the Trump Organization is not this vast organization. We’re talking about Donald Trump, we’re talking about Ivanka, we’re talking about Eric.”
While Diaz has gained legal status since working for Trump, her former colleague is fighting to remain in the U.S. “Victorina Morales, 47, had asked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant her asylum because of violence in her home country of Guatemala,” The Washington Post reported last month. “But the agency rejected her request, saying Morales had waited too long to apply, according to a letter from the agency.”
Eleven million other undocumented immigrants are also fighting for their chance to stay here. Donald Trump and his adult children would be perfectly happy exploiting these workers for as long as they can, both in a personal and political way. Enough. We must do better, and it starts by defeating Trump in November and putting Victorina and 11 million others on a path to citizenship so that they can never be exploited this way again.
Trump “cares about the stage show, he doesn’t care about the impact on the lives of people who work for him, or the lives of the people the policies affected,” Trump biographer Tim O’Brien said in the America’s Voice video. It ends with CNN host Don Lemon mocking Trump’s double-speak: “Pay no attention to the undocumented workers at my golf club, while I’m slamming immigrants and taking their children from them.”