The Undocumented Worker Who Made Trump’s Bed

immigrant rights are worker rights 2006

Victorina Morales is speaking out about her years working at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, both before and after he became president. She described supervisors fully aware of the undocumented status of employees and even helping them to get false papers. Though she knows it will probably cost her job, she is speaking out because she is “tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,”

“During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.

“Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name.

“Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.”

Trump businesses are not the only ones profiting from undocumented immigrants. The Chicago Sun-Times pulled back the curtain on McHenry County jail’s multi-million dollar contract for jail beds to house immigrants. Carlos Acosta, a newly-elected member of the county board, says “Immigration policy is now county policy and county policy is now immigration policy.”

“It’s been a divisive issue because it raises the question, is there a profit motive when the county sheriff is making traffic stops?” Acosta asked, referring to stops that could lead to the arrest and detention of an undocumented immigrant….

“Acosta said he will start his term on the county board by posing questions on the detention facility to get more thorough data on what conditions are like inside.”

In Mexico, money to provide minimum neccessities of life for migrants is in short supply near the border. Long-term, new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) proposes a partnership between Mexico, the United States, and the Central American countries to increase economic development and jobs in Central America. He advocates work visas for immigrants in both Mexico and the United States. In the short term, Mexico offers migrants two options: a temporary, humanitarian visa, good for one year and renewable, and a permanent grant of asylum if they qualify. Both kinds of visas come with work permits.

Although the largest number of people from the migrant caravan wait in desperate conditions in Tijuana, a smaller number shelter in Tecate, a small town a little farther away from the border. Tecate provides more safety and more services, but fewer immigrants wait there.

“Nicole Ramos, an attorney with Al Otro Lado, which helps protect asylum seekers’ rights, said the reason more migrants don’t head for the calmer Tecate port of entry is simple: “Tecate refuses to process people.”

“Since she began working with asylum seekers in 2015, she has heard of only one migrant who was processed by U.S. officials at the port of entry, she said. The migrants she works with over the years have told her that they’re turned away.”

More and more legal permanent residents in the United States are applying for citizenship.. Despite high fees, immigrants like Alex Gumbel in Leroy, Minnesota are considering the move to citizenship:

“For two main reasons. One is I have lived here very long now, and the more kids I have I feel like I want to decide their future too by voting. My wife was once elected Mayor here in town. It always bugged me that I couldn’t vote for her,” said Gumbel. “And then just simply the more I live here the more you become involved and entwined in life and culture here.”

 

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About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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