NYT Admits Trump Hotels Tightened Policy Against Hiring Illegals in 2015

Bedminster Golf Club
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s hotel managers tightened hiring rules to exclude illegal immigrants in 2015, the New York Times admits.

But the admission is buried in the 50th paragraph of the article, which highlights the comments from a Guatemalan illegal who told the newspaper that she expected to be fired after revealing her illegal status to the media.

The woman, Victorina Morales, crossed the border illegally in 1999. She said she has cleaned rooms used by Trump at the Bedminster Golf Club, and that she met him several times.

The article suggests that Trump’s refusal to question her status is evidence that he knew she was an illegal migrant, and that he is a hypocrite for employing illegals while championing pro-American reforms.

But federal law threatens companies and CEOs who quiz employees about their legal status  — no matter how poor their English.

Trump’s hotels also hire legal seasonal migrant workers via the H-2B program. There is no reason that a customer or Trump would be able to differentiate between a legal H-2B worker and an illegal worker.

The newspaper admitted: “There is no evidence that Mr. Trump or Trump Organization executives knew of their immigration status.”

In the 50th paragraph, the newspaper also admits that the parent organization of the Trump gold clubs ordered tighter enforcement in 2015:

Soon after Mr. Trump launched his campaign for the presidency, in June 2015, Ms. Morales recalled, one of the managers summoned her to tell her that she could no longer work inside Mr. Trump’s house.

Around the same time, she said, several workers, who she said were also working illegally, had their work days shaved from five days to three days. “The workers panicked. A lot of people just left,” she said.

Two months after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, in March 2017, Ms. Morales said that she and other workers received a new employee handbook.

Under a section titled “Immigration Compliance,” the handbook stated that employees were required to present documents specified by the federal government. “Those that are found to have falsified information will not be eligible for employment,” the handbook stated.

Morales says lower-level managers at the golf club helped her circumvent Trump’s enforcement rules.

Morales’s story also contradicts progressive portrayals of Trump as a racist and instead portrays him as a good employer who rewards good work:

Ms. Morales said she will never forget the day Mr. Trump pulled up to the pro shop in his cart as she was washing its large, arched windows. Noticing that Ms. Morales, who is shy of five feet tall, could not reach the top, he said, “Excuse me,” grabbed her rag and wiped the upper portion of the glass.

Mr. Trump then asked Ms. Morales her name and where she was from, she recalled. “I said, ‘I am from Guatemala.’ He said, ‘Guatemalans are hard-working people.’” The president then reached into his pocket and handed her a $50 bill.

The praise for Trump undermines Morales’s suggestion that she revealed her status in a high-minded protest of Trump’s 2016 mandate to curb illegal immigration.

Since his election, Trump has pushed for passage of his “Four Pillars” immigration reforms, which would curb legal and illegal immigration, so pushing up wages for hotel maids and every other blue-collar person. Despite being blocked by business-first GOP and Democratic politicians in Congress, Trump’s “Hire American” policy and his regulators are helping to boost wages for blue-collar and white-collar workers nationwide.

For example, Trump’s deputies have successfully blocked bipartisan effortsto greatly expand the H-2B program for seasonal visa workers, including hotel workers such as Ms. Morales.

The New York Times article does not explain why Morales would take the risk of exposing her illegal status to a national audience, and so managers to fire here. However, the article suggests she hopes the publicity may help her get a green card or a financial reward:

The article says that “New Jersey lawyer, Anibal Romero, who is representing them on immigration matters.” Ms. Morales said that she understood she could be fired or deported as a result of coming forward, though she has applied for protection under the asylum laws. She is also exploring a lawsuit claiming workplace abuse and discrimination.

The NYT’s attempt to portray Trump as a hypocrite is complicated by the NYT’s refusal to highlight the damaging economic impact of cheap labor illegal and legal immigration on blue-collar Americans. The paper’s refusal in the article to follow the money in the immigration debate undermines the newspaper’s claim to be a supporter of ordinary people against powerful people.

Read it all here.


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