Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, is bringing as her guest to the president’s State of the Union Address an undocumented immigrant who worked at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
Victorina Morales, born in Guatemala, started working at the golf club in 2013 until last month after she revealed her immigration status as well as the company’s hiring practices, in an interview with The New York Times.
“President Trump justified shutting the government down for five weeks by demonizing immigrants as the scourge of the country and the root of our nation’s crime and insecurity,” Watson Coleman said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Meanwhile, CEO Trump led a company that has relied extensively on the hard work of undocumented immigrants like my constituent Victorina to keep his resorts clean and his putting greens trimmed.
“Donald Trump wants to build silly walls to stop the same immigrants that he’s made a career and a fortune from exploiting.”
Morales joined three other former workers on Capitol Hill this week to petition members of Congress for protection and to highlight “what their lawyer and some Democratic lawmakers described as potential lawbreaking by the Trump Organization,” according to The Washington Post.
The former workers said Trump’s company helped them to obtain false documents to justify their employment. Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, has denied the claims.
Following Morales’ interview, at least a dozen workers from Latin America were fired from Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y., on Jan. 18, after being told that a recent audit of their immigration documents found them to be false.
Attorney Anibal Romero said on Saturday that managers had known about their legal status for years.
“People have been there for 12, 13, 14 years.” He added, “One had the keys to Eric Trump’s bedroom.”
He also said managers knew they had submitted false documents but looked the other way.
Trump claimed during his 2016 campaign that he used E-Verify, a federal tool to verify employment eligibility, across his properties, but that wasn’t the case. Eric Trump said on Wednesday that the organization would now use E-Verify.
President Trump continues to pose illegal immigration as a national crisis demanding funding from Congress for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which resulted in the partial government shutdown. The deal the White House and congressional leaders struck to reopen the government is only good through Feb. 15.