About a dozen employees were abruptly fired from the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, because they were found to be in the country illegally, reports The Washington Post.
The firings follow revelations last year that undocumented immigrants were hired and subsequently fired at a Trump property in New Jersey.
On Jan. 18, about a dozen employees were summoned, one by one, to talk with a human resources executive from Trump headquarters and told that the Trump company had recently audited their immigration documents, which were found to be fake. Those documents had been submitted years prior to their firing.
“Unfortunately, this means the club must end its employment relationship with you today,” a Trump executive told the employees, according to a recording one worker gave to the newspaper.
“I started to cry,” Gabriel Sedano, a former maintenance worker from Mexico, told the newspaper. “I told them they needed to consider us. I had worked almost 15 years for them in this club, and I’d given the best of myself to this job.”
Eric Trump, who along with Donald Trump Jr. has managed the president’s business empire since he entered the oval office, told the Post that the Trump Organization is seeking to fire anyone who has submitted false hiring paperwork.
“We are making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents to unlawfully gain employment. Where identified, any individual will be terminated immediately,” Eric Trump said in an email to the Post.
The Post notes that “the firings show Trump’s business was relying on undocumented workers even as the president demanded a border wall to keep out such immigrants.”
“On immigration policy, ‘America First’ means protecting the jobs, wages and security of American workers, whether first or 10th generation,” Trump said in 2016. “No matter who you are, we’re going to protect your job because, let me tell you, our jobs are being stripped from our country like we’re babies.”
Anibal Romero, who is representing the workers fired from the New York and New Jersey clubs, noted that the Trump Organization has shown “a pattern and practice of hiring undocumented immigrants, not only in New Jersey, but also in New York.”
“We are demanding a full and thorough investigation from federal authorities,” Romero told the Post.
A former manager of the New York property told the newspaper that the Trump Organization placed a higher value on hiring cheap labor rather than checking for immigration status.
“It didn’t matter. They didn’t care [about immigration status],’” the former manager told the Post. “It was, ‘Get the cheapest labor possible.’ ”