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Undocumented women who worked for Trump baffled by anti-migrant turn

Victorina Morales holds up a White House Certificate of Appreciation during an interview with EFE in New York on Friday, Dec. 14. EFE/EPA/ALBA VIGARAY

Victorina Morales holds up a White House Certificate of Appreciation during an interview with EFE in New York on Friday, Dec. 14. EFE/EPA/ALBA VIGARAY

EFE

Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, the two women who went public last week about working at Donald Trump ‘s New Jersey golf club while undocumented, said in an interview with EFE that they were stunned to hear the real estate mogul denounce immigrants as a political candidate and US president.

“When I saw him talking on television, as he talked about us, I would say: ‘but this man is crazy.’ If he sees us there (at the golf club), why does he treat us that way?,” Morales, a 45-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, recalls.

Morales, who had personal contact with the billionaire before he launched his 2016 presidential bid, describes a radical difference between the friendliness she saw from Trump at Bedminster golf club and his subsequent harsh anti-immigrant stance.

Having endured humiliation and abuse from her supervisor at Bedminster, Morales says that hearing Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric was the final straw.

“If I came forward it’s for so many things that we experience and put up with in this country,” she says, tearing up. “I’m telling everybody that we’re here. We don’t come to invade the country, we come to work.”

Morales and Diaz, whose story was revealed last week in The New York Times, say that during their time at Bedminster they experienced abusive conduct by their supervisor, a immigrant with a Green Card.

Victorina was responsible for housekeeping at the Trump family’s Bedminster residence from 2013 to 2016, when she was reassigned to other duties without explanation.

Morales says that while she doesn’t know whether Trump was aware that he was employing undocumented workers, management people at Bedminster were certainly familiar with employees’ immigration status.

Diaz, a Costa Rican who was undocumented when she worked at the golf club in 2010-2013, is now a legal resident.

Trump, she says, must have known that undocumented people were working at Bedminster, “because it’s obvious we’re not Americans.”

Diaz, 46, explains that the usual procedure for hiring maids and gardeners at Bedminster was to rely on referrals and introductions from current employees.

Both women have memories of pleasant encounters with Trump.

Victorina recalls a day when she was cleaning windows as Trump was passing in his golf cart. Noticing that Morales couldn’t reach the top of the highest pane, he took the cloth from her hand and finished the job.

Afterward, he asked Morales her name and where she was from before giving her $50.

Trump likewise handed Diaz a $50 bill when she delivered an order of ice cream to his room.

“It’s a different person from the one I know,” she says of Trump’s attacks on immigrants.


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