Victorina Morales, a former employee of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, will be attending President Trump’s State of the Union next Tuesday evening. Morales, an undocumented immigrant, was invited by New Jersey Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman as her guest to the address.
Watson Coleman issued a blunt statement challenging Trump to speak truthfully about immigrants who come to the United States, rather than casting them as “bad hombres.”
“I’ve invited Victorina so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face,” she explained.
Today, I invited Victorina Morales, a constituent, as my guest at the #SOTU, Ms. Morales, an undocumented immigrant, was fired from the Trump National Golf Club, and has since campaigned for rights and fair treatment for undocumented immigrants. https://t.co/o8bjrSojpl pic.twitter.com/WaVvkOTSZc
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) January 30, 2019
Morales first entered the country in 1999, joining her husband who had made the journey from Guatemala a few months earlier. She crossed the U.S. border somewhere in California, then traveled to New Jersey to meet her husband. She began working at Trump’s Bedminster club in 2010 with fraudulent documents — some of which she had gotten as late as 2017 after a manager offered to lend her money to get the papers.
Morales Making Fearless Statement Through Her Attendance
In recent months, Morales has become politically active regarding her circumstances as an undocumented worker. “[I am] very proud because I am going to raise my voice for all of us immigrants,” she told the New York Times on Wednesday. “I’m not scared to show my face. I am not speaking for me, I’m speaking on behalf of millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the United States.”
NEW: Meet Victorina Morales. She came to the US in 1999 from Guatemala. Since 2013 she has worked as a housekeeper at Trump’s NJ country club. She makes the President’s bed and cleans his villa while he is watching TV. She’s also an undocumented immigrant. https://t.co/d5Nx0Xu6wi
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 6, 2018
Morales was not officially fired from the Trump Organization after publicly revealing her story to journalists last month, but per her attorney’s advice stopped coming to work before the story broke in early December. Last week though, Trump’s Westchester, New York golf club fired a dozen undocumented workers and announced that the Trump Organization would begin using E-Verify in order to ensure all future hires are legal immigrants.
Morales and several other former Trump Organization employees are being represented by immigration lawyer Anibal Romero and are considering filing a civil lawsuit against the organization. “It isn’t illegal to work in the U.S., but it is illegal to knowingly hire undocumented immigrants and then [for] supervisors to physically assault them, threaten them with deportation,” he explained in an interview with CNN.
Perhaps in response to Morales’s invitation, Trump revealed in an interview with The Daily Caller that he would be inviting guests “who have suffered very badly because we didn’t do what we should’ve done in a very dangerous part of our country.”
The Washington Post noted that it is not unusual for officials to make statements at the State of the Union with their invitees: Trump had previously invited relatives of victims who had been killed by undocumented immigrants, while former President Obama had invited an undocumented “dreamer” to one of his State of the Union addresses.