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“He has used us, he used us to serve him at his home and now to encourage racism in this country.”
In his latest piece, Univision’s Gerardo Reyes, writes a detailed account (English & Spanish) of the conditions undocumented workers faced at Trump’s Bedminster golf club. Reyes captures the hypocrisy of Trump’s political campaign as he rampaged against immigrants, all the while taking advantage of the undocumented workers hired to maintain his properties and care for his families households. This follows on a front page report in last week’s Washington Post (link) detailing how many Trump workers were not only knowingly aided in securing forged documents, but included cheating workers out of hours and benefits.
The piece from Univision is excerpted below and available in full here.
Sandra Díaz says that one of the first instructions she received from her supervisor when she started working without legal immigration documents in 2010 at the Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, left her astounded.
“My supervisor personally told me that Trump did not like black people, or fat, or ugly ones,” recalls Díaz.
The Costa Rican immigrant slipped into the private life of Trump before he became the most powerful man in the world, and in the process was introduced to his likes and dislikes.
Due to her skills and swiftness, she explained, she was chosen to be part of the elite group of employees who cleaned the house where Trump resided with his wife Melania and other member of his family during part of the summer.
…When Díaz left the club in 2013, her position was taken by her friend Victorina Sanán, a Guatemalan woman who said she warned her supervisors on the very first day that she didn’t speak English and had no documents.
“Don’t worry, we need is English, now forget about the papers,” Sanán recalls she was told. She was hired on the spot.
Díaz and Sanán continued to be friends. They say that what they saw and suffered in the club, they would have left discreetly stored away in their memories. But on June 2015, when they listened to the first campaign speech in which Trump called the majority of Hispanic immigrants criminals, everything changed, they said.
Convinced that people should know why Trump could not live without the Hispanics, they decided to tell Univision their experiences with the presidential family, and the strict watch of a female supervisor who, they said, constantly humiliated them.
“He [Trump] treats us like criminals and we entered his house, as if like thieves, like rapists, and we have been with his wife, with his children, with his grandchildren,” says Díaz, recalling Trump’s famous speech in June 2015.
…The experiences of Sanán and Díaz at Trump’s club were reported by them to the New Jersey attorney’s office, according to the women’s lawyer, Aníbal Romero.
“It makes me very sad because we know that these people were the most trusted employees of the president’s household and the family,” Romero said. “They practically became his family. And now for political reasons they simply turn their backs on them. It’s really something that’s very sad,” Romero added.
Díaz and Sanán confirmed that they gave statements to the state attorneys office regarding the work conditions and the abuses to which they were subjected by their supervisor, Agnieszka Kluska, a Polish immigrant who boasted of previously having worked as a policewoman in her home country. They knew her as ‘Agnes.’
Kluska declined to be interviewed by Univision.
Univision has not received an official response from the Trump Organization or the White House to a request for comment to a series of questions regarding the testimonies of the two housekeepers.
Díaz and Sanán said that of all the Trumps, the president’s daughter, Ivanka, was the most distant with them. She was more strict with the maids than she was on her own tidiness, they said.
“She is too demanding and apart from that she’s someone who is very intolerant, and doesn’t even greet you,” says Díaz.
…”I would ask them to look at everything I did for him,” Díaz responded before describing the grueling cleaning routine in the Trump family homes and the club where they had to work, often more than 10 hours a day, earning less money than employees with legal papers, she said.
During his stays at the club, according to Díaz, Trump wore four sets of clothes, each one identical: beige pants, white t-shirt, black socks and red baseball caps. But keeping the sets of clothing in his closet clean was not easy, recalls Diaz, because almost all the shirts were stained on the collar with Trump’s distinctive orange-colored facial makeup.
…Daradics had also worked previously as the nanny to the Trump’s son, Barron. According to Diaz and Sanan, Daradics knew they were undocumented. Univision tried to get an interview with her at the club and left a business card in her home at Bedminster but she didn’t respond.
…Everything changed, according to the women on the day Trump launched his campaign by smearing Mexican immigrants as drug traffickers and rapists.
Díaz says that she became aware of Trump’s political ambitions long before he became a candidate. It was the day that the businessman attended a meeting at the Bedminster to celebrate good financial results with employees.
“He said that everything he had wanted had been achieved, that the only thing he had not achieved was to be president because he wanted to see his name on a dollar bill,” Díaz recalls. “To that I would say, if he can’t see the name on a bill, he can see it on the [border] wall. He has used us, he used us to serve him at his home and now to encourage racism in this country.”
More coverage of the employment of unauthorized workers and their exploitation within the Trump Organization’s multi-state network of businesses here.