Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the firing of a dozen undocumented workers from the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York. The firings took place on Friday, January 18th, only a day before President Trump made a “major announcement” to temporarily extend DACA in exchange for border wall funding from Congress. All of the undocumented employees were from Latin America, a majority from Mexico.
The undocumented employees, some of whom had worked at the golf club for well over a decade, were given no prior indication that they would be fired from their jobs. Perhaps it goes without saying that they also did not receive any form of severance from the club, as they were not eligible for the health benefits and pension plans that were available to all other employees of the club. At their termination meetings, management simply explained that their immigration papers had been audited and deemed fake, forcing the club to fire them without any notice.
Former employees expressed feeling like expendable non-human entities despite having been dedicated workers, many of whom had been nominated “employee of the month” over their tenures there. The club fired Gabriel Sedano, who had been an employee for almost 15 years. “I told them they needed to consider us,” he told the Post. “I’d never done anything wrong, only work and work. They said they didn’t have any comments to make.”
“I started to cry,” said Gabriel Sedano, a former maintenance worker from Mexico who was among those fired. “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.” https://t.co/ZZwmGixcIQ
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) January 27, 2019
Margarita Cruz, a housekeeper and a single mother of two, explained to the Post that she and her peers were waiting outside of human resources “like little lambs, lined up for the slaughterhouse.” The head of human resources, Deirdre Rosen, explained to Cruz that the company had just discovered that her 2011 papers appeared to be fraudulent, fired her, then wished her a good day.
Little Concern from Management over Immigration Status
Many of the workers had gotten their fake papers from Queens, and there’s good reason to believe that the gold club was routinely aware of their fraudulence. Jesus Lira, another employee fired last week, shared that in 2008 he had submitted two rounds of immigration papers from Queens that the Trump club’s accounted rejected, only to suggest that he try again with better documents. “She said, ‘I can’t accept this, go back and tell them to do a better job.’” Edmundo Morocho, who had worked there for nearly two decades, had provided the company two green cards over the course of employment — both of which were accepted without question despite having different birth dates.
Anibal Romero, the attorney who is representing undocumented employees fired last month from President Trump’s New Jersey golf club, believes that the Trump Organization should be investigated for the hiring of undocumented workers because of a “pattern and practice of hiring undocumented immigrants, not only in New Jersey, but also in New York.” Management simply operated under a sort of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy while being urged to seek out the cheapest labor available. Responding to the Trumps’ denial of being aware of undocumented staff, Romero said bluntly: “I’m not buying that they didn’t know.”