“I’m doing this because I don’t like bullies,” Dena Moore says, explaining why she— as one of the American Disney workers who was laid off and forced to train her low-wage H-1B foreign replacement— is now launching a discrimination lawsuit against the corporation.
“You can’t let a bully continue to be the bully. Someone had to say: ‘Slavery isn’t right, I think I’ll stand up against it.’ Someone had to say: ‘We shouldn’t [mistreat] our women. I think I’ll stand up.’ Someone had to stand up. That’s what I’m hoping that my work is doing. There’s a lot of people who are just afraid,” Moore tells Breitbart in an exclusive telephone interview.
Yet this sentiment also explains why Moore, a constituent of Marco Rubio’s, now says she’s casting her ballot for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump: “Trump is standing up to the bullies.”
“The American people are now the weak ones being bullied,” Moore explains. “The everyday working person needs a champion– and you’d never think to say that. Who would ever think a day would come when we would have to say that? But the middle class needs a champion– we need a union that will protect us– and Donald Trump is that champion. He is champion who stands up to the bullies to protect the weak, he stands up for us– he stands up.”
“When you stand up to the bullies you have to stay strong,” Moore explained. “You’re not always going to be well-liked, and it takes you a little while to be heard. Maybe you’ll make mistakes, but you have to get past the media’s ‘let me pick you apart’ stage and recognize that this person is standing up to the bullies.”
“I will be voting for Trump,” Moore said emphatically. “If we don’t want to become the next third world country— to me— we need somebody whose a business man to run the country.”
“I never realized the laws behind it,” Moore says of the nation’s rampant visa policies that allowed her and her colleagues to be replaced by foreign workers. “I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And Trump has brought this to the forefront. This is probably happening in more than 50 percent of workplaces. As Americans, we’re becoming the minority, we’re becoming the underpaid workers, who have to now go find a different position.”
Moore, at 53 is a mother of four and grandmother of 13. She had been working for Disney just shy of ten years, when out of the blue she was called into a meeting and informed that she along with hundreds of her American colleagues were being let go and would be replaced with foreign workers, whom they would have to train. These foreign workers had been brought into the country on the controversial wage-depressing H-1B visa.
In the course of the interview, Moore discussed the toll this news took on her “extended family”—her colleagues at Disney—who could not recover from the stress of the blow.
“People often tell me, ‘You don’t seem devastated enough.’ I am, but I don’t live my life that way,” Moore says. “I am Miss Sunshine. I’m the energetic positive force.” Being devastated, Moore explains, “is just not in my nature. I bounce. But a lot of other people have not,” she says trailing off.
“Most people were devastated because they had worked at Disney for 30, 40 years. I fared better because I’ve been a contractor my whole life. Disney was my first real job as an employee. But I had a friend who passed away after the situation. And I had another friend who was hospitalized with a heart condition. I truly believe it was from the stressful situation that we were all in.”
“It was a family– the people I worked with– it was an extended family. And it got torn part. And not only for the people who left. People were devastated– you took a well-running machine and you just busted it up.”
“We were afraid to come forward… we didn’t want them to hoard anything against us,” Moore said of why so many of ex-Disney employees remained silent.
Moore’s Senator, Marco Rubio, has pushed to expand H-1B visas despite the fact that scores of his own constituents had just been displaced by the program.
In 2015 Rubio introduced a bill to triple the number of H-1B visas. This bill—known as the I-Squared bill— was endorsed by Disney CEO Bob Iger via his immigration lobbying firm. Disney is also one of Sen. Rubio’s biggest financial boosters– having donated more than $2 million according to Open Secrets.
While Rubio has pushed legislation that would help companies like Disney to bring in more even more H-1B foreign replacement, Trump has called on Disney to hire back all of its American employees. In October, Trump declared, “I am calling TODAY on Disney to hire back every one of the workers they replaced, and I am calling on Rubio to immediately rescind his sponsorship of the I-Squared bill and apologize to every Floridian for endorsing it. I am further calling on Rubio to return the money he has received from Silicon Valley CEOs and to donate the money to a charity helping unemployed Americans whose jobs Rubio has helped to destroy.”
While Trump has made clear that he will champion the interests of American workers, “Marco Rubio has never reached out to us,” Moore explained. “I do believe that politicians will always side with who pays them directly or indirectly,” Moore said of Rubio’s financial ties to Disney. “I also believe they will say and do whatever it takes because they’re not being held accountable. There’s always an out for them— because that is what the American people have said politicians can do.”
Like Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz similarly came under fire for pushing to quintuple the issuances of H-1Bs in 2013 before Cruz eventually introduced a bill to crackdown on the program several months ago.
“Any one who is a grand-mother or a mother can see the devastation that is around the corner if we don’t start looking at these issues from the standpoint of what benefits Americans.”
During the exclusive interview, Moore recalled the events that led her to eventually call Sara Blackwell and begin her involvement in the lawsuit.
Moore said that when Disney originally gathered the American employees together:
“We thought we were having a party. We did fantastic work. We were excited. We thought it was going to be a party, but then when we went down the hallways. We realized it wasn’t a party but a meeting, suddenly we all knew that something good was not about to happen. It was that quick–suddenly there was an ominous atmosphere…
Nobody they brought in was better than anybody they let go. Every one they brought in were– as we would describe– completely green, they were like interns, fresh out of nowhere…
[When they originally let me go], I was offered a position– it was a contract position for six months– I had a start date, I was entered in to the HR system, etc. but two days before I was supposed to come in to start, HR called and said, ‘You can’t come in because executives are reviewing your position.’
Four weeks later after not hearing from them I called Sara [Blackwell, the attorney for American workers’ in the lawsuit against Disney].”
Moore, who exudes optimism, explains that she loved working at Disney because of the benefits she could give to her grandchildren: “That was why I worked at Disney. That was my driving force. I have lots of little princes and princesses! Part of the benefits of working for Disney was that I could bring people in [to the park] for free every day. If I had lasted at Disney for two more years— that would have been a lifetime benefit I would have had for my family.”
“I always tell people money didn’t motivate what I did,” Moore says in a tongue-and-cheek tone. Rather, Moore explains that her motivation came from the joy of being able to give her “little princes and princesses” a fun day at the amusement park: “Do you know how expensive it is to get into Disney?” Moore laughs. “See!” she says, “There’s humor in everything.”
Moore said that she is grateful for Trump’s firm position on immigration: “I’m not prejudiced. I have lots of diversity in my friend group, but I don’t think you can come into my country, take my resources and not only be granted to stay here– but tohave the red carpet rolled out for you by my politicians… What’s bad is that because we have become this politically correct nation, if you say anything you sound like you’re prejudiced. To me, Trump has done a really good job because it is so very easy to pull that ‘you’re prejudiced’ card, and that is not what this is about. It has to do with our economic resources and whether Americans get to benefit from them.”
“I usually just vote Republican because I’m a Republican,” Moore said. “I don’t usually pay attention to politicians because they say whatever they need to say. I usually don’t hold many politicians to what they say because they just say what people want to hear, but with a business person—they don’t play that political game. It makes you listen. They’re used to being held accountable– they’re used to having to prove themselves and perform.”