The chair of the powerful Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and a number of other House Democratic leaders are among the latest voices calling on the Homeland Security inspector general and FBI director to open an investigation into the reported abuse and exploitation of undocumented immigrants who’ve worked at Donald Trump’s businesses. Leaders also said they may launch action of their own and call some of these workers to testify before Congress.
“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,” said CHC chair Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, and Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, Nanette Barragán of California, Adriano Espaillat of New York, and Veronica Escobar of Texas in their letter.
Beginning last December, workers bravely stepped forward to say that they’d worked at Trump’s golf clubs and that management knew full well they had no papers. Some alleged management helped them get fake ones. Others, like housekeeper Victorina Morales, alleged verbal and physical abuse, including being compared to an animal and being shoved. Last month, an explosive Washington Post report described a “pipeline” of undocumented workers from Costa Rica to Trump’s New Jersey golf club. There was a caravan, alright.
Yet Trump has done all this while demonizing immigrants. “This is clear evidence that the hiring of undocumented immigrants was not a one-time oversight,” the letter continues, “but that this was done methodically and with a deliberate violation of the law.” Echoing a similar call last month for an investigation from New Jersey U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the legislators said that these workers must be protected during any investigation. An effort to deport them could be an obstruction of justice, they write. “Nobody is above the law, including the president of the United States and his company.”