Trump. Living the fake life. Photo Gage Skidmore–Flickr.
The recent revelation by Victorina Morales that she has worked for the last five years at Donald Trump’s National Golf Club, in Bedminster, New Jersey—even though she is an undocumented immigrant—tells us something we already know about Donald Trump: he is the biggest phony and fraud in politics we’ve ever seen.
Donald Trump successfully used bigotry and xenophobia, especially as it relates to the issue of so-called “illegal immigration,” as his main platform to win the presidency. He gained the votes of millions of White Americans by using racist fearmongering about “illegal immigrants” who he said bring “with them tremendous crime” to this country.
But the real crime is: that it is wealthy Americans, like Trump, who manipulate the system to exploit all workers—not just immigrants, but regular Americans as well.
In an important story, the New York Times Thursday published the story of 45-year old Victorina Morales, an undocumented worker who came to America from Guatemala in 1999. Apparently after an arduous trip of several weeks, travelling by foot and bus, Ms. Morales sneaked across the Mexican border into California. After arriving in Los Angeles, she was able to obtain fake documents, including a Social Security number.
Morales then flew to New Jersey to reunite with he husband, who had come a few months before. With the inauthentic documents she was able to secure employment at a hotel making $8.25. Then, in 2013, a friend who worked for Trump informed her Trump’s golf club needed housekeepers—and that they were paying $10 hourly.
According to Mrs. Morales’ account when she interviewed for the job at Trump’s gold club, she told the supervisor “I don’t have good papers. She told me to bring what I used at the hotel.” Morales was given the job, and was working for Donald Trump, the man who has done more to encourage hatred against immigrants –and non-White people in general–than anyone in recent memory, until the Times story broke last Thursday.
In fact, it is the racist hatred of immigrants that motivated Morales to tell her story about working for Trump. Morales stated “We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money. We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.” She also said “I’m tired of being humiliated and treated like a stupid person. We’re just immigrants who don’t have papers.”
For some time now, we’ve heard Trump’s empty talk about “promises made, promises kept.” But where is the evidence that Trump has kept his promises regarding immigration
When he was running for president, Trump said “A Trump administration will stop illegal immigration.” For the first two years of his term, Trump’s Republicans control both houses of Congress, and have passed their one singular achievement: a tax-break bill for the wealthy. But why haven’t Trump, and his Republican gang, passed an immigration bill to “stop illegal immigration,” as he promised? Why didn’t Trump, and Republicans, use the tax-break funds to build the “wall?”
Of course, the answers to those questions are related to why Trump’s businesses hire immigrants, including undocumented ones like Mrs. Morales: the greed of the wealthy, the root of income inequality.
One defining factor of rich people, like Trump, is they believe in the principle of getting the most work while paying the least wages to workers. Trump has a history of shafting people who’ve done work for him. Several stories have documented this.
One USA TODAY article, by Steve Reilly, on June 9, 2016 entitled “Hundreds Allege Donald Trump doesn’t Pay His Bills,” outlines “At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast.”
The USA story noted “In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s.” The piece also outlined “Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage.”
Trump’s political position on the minimum wage is important as it regards to immigration—and his pretense of caring about average American workers. In 2015, during a GOP debate, on Fox News, Trump was asked if he agreed with protesters pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Trump said “I can’t be…and the reason I can’t be is because we are a country that is being beaten on every front. Taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world.”
Trump, and his GOP, have talked about bringing “prosperity” to America. How? By consistently fighting against paying workers a living wage? Why should Americans believe Republicans when they protect companies who undermine American workers—by hiring those they know they can pay less, like undocumented immigrants? How can they do this while encouraging the outsourcing of jobs?
Trump is now fighting with China about trade deficits, and such. But Trump has been doing business deals with countries like China—just like other avaricious American companies, who are padding their profits on the backs of Americans workers, by circumventing them through outsourcing. The supreme irony is: the bigotry of a large segment of White America has them oblivious to this reality.
Racism has always been a Republican trump-card.
Trump isn’t the only Republican who has employed undocumented immigrants. Disgraced thuggish former Staten Island congressman—and one-time FBI agent—Brian Grimm admitted to hiring an undocumented maid. Andrew Puzder, nominated to be Trump’s Labor Secretary, also employed undocumented workers. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney also used undocumented labor.
Incoming Senator Romney was exposed, by then Texas Governor Rick Perry, during an October 2011 GOP debate, when Perry—now the Secretary of Energy—accused Romney of hiring undocumented immigrants to do landscaping work. Romney’s basically admitted this but blamed the landscaping company saying “we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.”
Here we should revisit a question Victorina Morales asked about Trump, that is equally relevant to Romney’s use of undocumented immigrants. Mrs. Morales said “I ask myself, is it possible that this señor thinks we have papers? He knows we don’t speak English. Why wouldn’t he figure it out?”
Of course, Republicans like Trump use a sort of plausible deniability to hide their hideously corrupt practices. The media should investigate whether other Republicans are employing undocumented immigrants. Are we to believe Trump, Grimm, Puzder and Romney are the only Republicans employing undocumented workers?
If Republicans wanted to stop so-called illegal immigration, they would be punishing wealthy individuals, and the corporations, who hire them—by levying crippling fines, and prison time upon them.
Republicans continue to say undocumented immigration represents a security threat. So again, we must ask the question: why haven’t they passed an immigration bill
Ironically, Trump himself gave us the answer from his own big mouth, from a speech in August 2016, in Arizona. During that speech he told the audience “The fundamental problem with the immigration system in our country is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful politicians.” Trump understands this because: he is part of the “wealthy donors” who pay under-the-table bribes to rotten Republicans.
Despite the bloviated rhetoric, Republicans never had any intention of stopping the flow of undocumented workers. Republicans, and their donor-daddies, make too much money from it.