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Construction Crew Has Worked for Trump Organization for Years and Employs Undocumented Immigrants

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Construction Crew Has Worked for Trump Organization for Years and Employs Undocumented Immigrants

2019-08-12 17:24:411 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Trump National Doral Miami (Image source: Cfmyers via Wikimedia Commons)

 

This isn't the first time we've heard about the Trump Organization employing undocumented immigrants. Earlier this year we heard from a small group of immigrants who claimed they worked at Trump golf courses and weren't the only ones.  

The same man who is tweeting that congresswomen of color should "go back" from where they came and who has been insistent for four years on building a wall to keep undocumented immigrants out of the country, has been employing them all this time.

 

And now it goes further than the small group who came forward earlier. A current employee says it's true that for nearly 20 years, the Trump Organization has relied on a construction crew of Latin Americans and that many of them entered the United States illegally. 

This crew has built all the beauty that you see at Trump's golf courses and his winery. Impressed with their ability to literally do the "heavy lifting" with heavy stone, the group were named "Los Picapiedras," the Spanish translation for "The Flintstones."

 

55-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant Jorge Castro said the president "doesn't want undocumented people in the country, but at his properties, he still has them."  

Castro worked for the company for nine years without legal status. He left in April, having worked at seven Trump properties, with a Northern Virginia golf club being his last.

 

As proof, he provided The Washington Post with many years of his pay stubs from Trump's construction company, Mobile Payroll Construction LLC. He also provided photos of him with his peers on the golf courses and text messages between him and his boss. One of them was asking him to go work at "Bedminster," Trump's golf course in New Jersey. 

Edmundo Morocho, another former worker, said he was told by a supervisor to buy fake ID on a New York street corner. He hid in the woods of a Trump golf course once to avoid visiting labor union officials seeing him.

 

Hypocrisy is in full swing here, as while the Trump administration was holding a huge raid to deport nearly 700 undocumented immigrants in Mississippi, he was employing them. 

Earlier this year Eric Trump said the company was "making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents to unlawfully gain employment," and that they would be fired. But he didn't say the organization was providing them with the false identification.

 

He also explained that the company would be using E-Verify, a federal program that allows employers to check the eligibility of those they are looking to hire. They also began looking into the legal status of existing employees and fired at least 18. 

While a Trump Organization spokeswoman said Mobile Payroll Construction is enrolled in E-Verify, the company is not listed in the public database for E-Verify, despite it being updated July 1

 

The Trump Organization said in a statement, "since this issue was first brought to our attention, we have taken diligent steps, including the use of E-Verify, at all of our properties and companies." 

"Those efforts continue, and where an employee is found to have provided fake or fraudulent documentation to unlawfully gain employment, that individual will be terminated.

 

"Fortunately," added the statement, "among the thousands of individuals employed by our organization, we have encountered very few instances where this has occurred." 

While Eric and Donald Trump Jr. run the Trump Organization, the president still owns it and has admitted he doesn't know if undocumented immigrants work there.

 

"Well, that I don't know. Because I don't run it," he said last month. "But I would say this: probably every club in the United States has that because it seems to me, from what I understand, a way that people did business." 

The Washington Post has turned up 43 undocumented immigrants since January who were employed at Trump properties as waiters, maids, and greenskeepers, and a caretaker at a personal hunting lodge owned by Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

 

At least eight properties owned by Trump have employed undocumented immigrants going back nearly two decades.  

"If you're a good worker, papers don't matter," said Castro.

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