Sandra Diaz, 46, worked as a maid at the golf club owned by President Donald Trump, located in Bedminster, New Jersey, while in “an irregular” immigration status, that is, she was in the U.S. without papers.
The Costa Rican woman who is now a legal resident of the United States told the New York Times said she, too, was undocumented when she worked at Bedminster between 2010 and 2013.
The New York Times published the case of Díaz and Victorina Morales in a report published on Thursday. Morales, a Guatemalan, told the newspaper she has worked as a housekeeper for the club for more than five years.
The Tica said that during her working at the golf club, she witnessed the hiring of many people who did not have migratory permits.
The two women said they were part a group of cleaning, maintenance and landscaping employees that included several undocumented workers, though they could not say precisely how many.
The article explains that there is no evidence that Trump or Trump Organization executives knew about their immigration status, but at least two supervisors at the club were aware of it.
Morales says that at some point, Trump helped her clean windows that she could not reach because of her height. He gave her $50. For his part, Diaz received $100 after the magnate checked the dust in a room and expressed his satisfaction for the Tica’s work.
“There are many people without papers,” said Diaz, having witnessed several people being hired whom she knew to be undocumented.
Morales said she has cleaned the president’s villa while he watched television nearby; standing in the sidelines when potential cabinet members came and the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, arrived.
“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people close up,” she said.
The Guatemalan received in July a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name, because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Trump’s visits.
Trump made the issue of undocumented migrants into the cornerstone of his administration. He also proposed, during the presidential campaign, the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.
Even during the electoral struggle, the employer had boasted of having used an electronic verification system, E-Verify, to ensure that only people with legal papers were hired to work.
“We didn’t have one illegal immigrant on the job,” Trump was quoted when the Trump International Hotel opened for business in Washington, during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Though Diaz left work at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster in 2013, Morales has been reporting for work at, where she is still on the payroll, where an employee of the golf course drives her and a group of others to work every day, she says, because it is known that they cannot legally obtain a driver’s license.
The number of undocumented persons in the United States is estimated at 11 million. The majority are Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans who settled for years in the country.
Former President Barack Obama (2009–2017) deported at least 2.5 million migrants during his two administrations.
Last month, Trump announced the deployment of thousands of soldiers in the border area before the advance of caravans of Central American migrants through the Mexican territory that was trying to reach the United States.
‘We are tired of the abuse’
“The two women decided to tell their story by being hurt by the president’s derogatory comments about undocumented immigrants,” journalist Miriam Jordan, author of the article, wrote on Twitter.
The majority of workers in industries such as agriculture are in the country unlawfully. American employers say they cannot find Americans willing to do the work.
— Miriam Jordan (@mirjordan) December 6, 2018
“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” Morales said. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”
Morales said she has been hurt by Trump’s public comments since he became president, including equating Latin American immigrants with violent criminals.
The Tica and Guatemalateca approached The New York Times through their New Jersey lawyer, Anibal Romero, who is representing them on immigration matters.
The New York Times says that in separate, hourslong interviews in Spanish, Morales and Diaz provided detailed accounts of their work at the club and their interactions with management, including Trump. Both women described the president as demanding but kind.
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.
At Bedminster, Morales earns $13 an hour. The job is one of several she said to have had since arriving in the United States in 1999, crossing undetected into California after a journey of nearly six weeks by bus and on foot.
Starting work at the club in 2010, Diaz said her job was cleaning Trump’s residence.
The newspaper said the White House declined to comment. She said she washed and ironed Trump’s white boxers, golf shirts and khaki trousers, as well as his sheets and towels. Everything belonging to Trump, his wife, Melania, and their son, Barron, was washed with special detergent in a smaller, separate washing machine, she said.
“He is extremely meticulous about everything. If he arrives suddenly, everyone runs around like crazy” because Trump inspects everything closely, Diaz said.
Never forgetting the Trump outburst over some orange stains on the collar of his Melania’s golf shirt, which the Tica described as stubborn remnants of his makeup, which she had difficulty removing.
Diaz was in charge of training Morales when she started working at the golf course in 2013. When Diaz quit in November of that year, Morales and the housekeeping supervisor took on the job of cleaning Trump’s house together.
In closing the article, the New York Times said Morales is certain that her employers — perhaps even Trump — knew of her unlawful status all along.
“I ask myself, is it possible that this señor thinks we have papers? He knows we don’t speak English,” Morales said. “Why wouldn’t he figure it out?”