America's Voice En Español »
Yesterday, Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post reported that Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Joaquin Castro, alongside Ruben Gallego, Nanette Diaz Barragan, Adriano Espaillat, and Veronica Escobar, sent a letter to the FBI director and acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security asking for an investigation into the reported and ongoing abuses of undocumented immigrants by the Trump Organization. As S.A. Miller of the Washington Times reports, 2016 Trump voters are none too pleased by the President’s hypocrisy.
Representatives Castro, Gallego, Barragan, and Escobar write:
We write to you to request a thorough investigation into the disconverting claims from former Trump Organization employees that the Trump Organization violated both civil and criminal law by recruiting, employing and exploiting undocumented workers. Further, it is critical that the victims and witnesses of the alleged criminal and civil violations be protected as material witnesses and victims. Any enforcement action by the Department of Homeland Security against these employees could be an obstruction of justice.
Many of the Trump Organization employees have stepped forward to recount how the Trump Organization setup a pipeline to systematically obtain cheap immigrant labor and hired undocumented immigrants. In fact, some of the undocumented workers have stated that the Trump Organization helped them procure the fraudulent documents.
…This is clear evidence that the hiring of undocumented immigrants was not a one-time oversight but that this was done methodically and with a deliberate violation of the law.
This is in addition to calls for an investigation spearheaded by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
As S.A. Miller writes in the Washington Times:
President Trump’s supporters are shocked and disappointed that his business empire employed illegal immigrants, even while he was in the Oval Office and calling on Congress for a crackdown.
“That does bother me because a lot of the employers who hire illegal immigrants take advantage of it to pay them less and work them like dogs,” said Katie Harrington, 55, a Trump voter who owns the All About You hair salon.
Ms. Harrington switched from Democrat to Republican in 2016 because of Mr. Trump, helping a Republican presidential candidate win Pennsylvania for the first time in 28 years and seal Mr. Trump’s upset victory.
Now she, like other Trump voters across this crucial 2020 battleground state, struggled to excuse the president.
…“How is he different from the other people who hire illegal immigrants?” said Andrew, a 42-year-old information technology worker in the state capital, Harrisburg, who did not give his last name.
He said he was a registered Democrat who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 and might vote for him again, but he called the decision a “fluid situation” that will include consideration of the illegal employees.
“Americans should have American jobs,” he said. “Everyone has a right to come here, but there is a formal process. That’s why we have laws.”
David W. Leopold, an immigration lawyer and counsel to the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice, said Trump supporters were grasping at straws to defend him.
“The excuse that Donald Trump is too busy to know about hiring at his ‘empire’ is ludicrous. First, it isn’t an empire. It’s a small family business. Particularly the golf clubs,” he said. “It’s clear that small numbers of people work at the clubs for many years and knew and interacted with Trump personally. That includes the undocumented workers such as Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz.”
“The ‘everybody does it’ excuse is no excuse. Trump based his candidacy and now his presidency on stopping illegal immigration. It is the height of hypocrisy for Trump to exploit undocumented workers for personal gain while separating children at the border, destroying families in the U.S. and screaming for a border wall,” said Mr. Leopold. “Since when is breaking the law acceptable if everyone is doing it? The answer is either to hold them accountable for breaking the law or change the law to legalize the 11 million.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
The Trump Organization must be investigated and the brave workers who have come forward need to be protected. They are witnesses to the criminal behavior of an enterprise that flouts the law to exploit and discard hard working immigrants.
Trump supporters need to understand the craven depths of Trump’s hypocrisy in using and abusing undocumented immigrant labor while Trump simultaneously is covering up his own crimes with a call to get tough on the same immigrants he continues to use and abuse.
The Washington Post series continues to break new ground on the depth and breadth of the Trump Organization’s methodical, multistate criminal enterprise that abuses and exploits undocumented workers. If Trump would only fight to legalize these same workers rather than abuse them, it would go a long way towards solving the plight of 11 million undocumented immigrants (approximately 1 in 20 workers in our economy) who deserve a chance to come out of the shadows, get legal and pursue their dream of faith, family and community in the country they call home.
The Washington Times article reveals the low regard Trump has for his own supporters by asking them to support his deport-and-malign political strategy while he personally benefits from the hard work of these same immigrants. Trump will eventually pay a price with his own base when they come to know the depths of his duplicity on this issue.