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Trump golf club fired 12 workers living in the U.S. illegally, lawyer says

“The only thing I did wrong was work, work and work,” one of the former employees said.

Two former workers at President Donald Trump's golf club in
Westchester County, New York, said they believe people at the highest
levels of the club knew they were hiring workers who were living in the
U.S. illegally. They also said they believe Trump must have known.Twelve
people living in the country illegally who worked at Trump National
Golf Club were fired earlier this month, workers interviewed by NBC News
and their lawyer said Sunday.The crackdown at the New York club was first reported by The Washington Post .A
longtime maintenance worker at Trump’s Westchester club, Gabriel
Sedano, was among nine former workers interviewed by NBC News. He said
he was the first in the group to find out he no longer had a job.Sedano said a club manager told him on Jan. 17 that he had a meeting the next day, but Sedano didn’t know what it was about.During the meeting, Sedano recalled, he was asked if he was in the United States legally.“I
told them no, so … after that they say so the company cannot keep you
there,” he said. “I start crying because I told them — like, I've been
working for so long.”“The only thing I did wrong was work, work and work,” he added.The clubhouse at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, in 2016.Mike Segar / Reuters fileAfter the meeting, Sedano met with other workers in the club’s laundry room and told them what happened.“Everybody got kind of afraid and upset,” he said. “Some of them [were] crying.”Sedano,
who crossed illegally into the United States with his family in 2003,
said it was easy to find work at Trump’s property two years later. The
club needed employees so badly, he said, that he believes managers
didn’t thoroughly check the fraudulent Social Security and green cards
that he and other workers provided. It is illegal for workers to present
false documents.Trump, he added, "must've known" his clubs had hired them.It is illegal for workers to present false documents.Though
Sedano had viewed the president as friendly — he said Trump once gave
him a $200 tip while he was cleaning the club’s railings — he said he
was offended by how the president had taken to describing undocumented
immigrants as criminals or worse on the campaign trail and in speeches.And he said he’d been expecting something to happen since news broke last month
that the Trump Organization — the holding company for the president’s
hundreds of business — apparently employed undocumented immigrants at
his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.There, at least
one former employee told NBC News that a manager had allegedly helped
her obtain fake legal documentation. Several other employees said they
were able to get fake legal documentation through friends within their
community to present to club managers.“We knew this was coming,” Sedano said.Another
worker, Margarita Cruz, was told by phone on Jan. 18 that she’d been
let go. She recorded the call, and in an audio clip obtained by NBC
News, a manager can be heard telling her, “the club must end its
employment relationship with you today.”In a statement
Sunday, Eric Trump — who, along with Donald Trump Jr., took over
management of their father’s businesses two years ago — said the Trump
Organization has “very strict” hiring practices for its “tens of
thousands of employees.”“If any employee submitted false
documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be
terminated immediately,” he said. “We take this issue very seriously.
This is one of the reasons my father is fighting so hard for immigration
reform. The system is broken.”The
workers' lawyer, Anibal Romero, said he asked federal authorities to
examine the Westchester club’s hiring practices. He also brought the
workers to Washington on Sunday to meet with congressional Democrats.
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