Trump spent years exploiting immigrants he now claims are ‘poisoning’ our country

Former President Donald Trump used language right from Hitler’s playbook when he claimed that immigrants coming to the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country.” What’s particularly scary is just how many Trump supporters embrace his fascistic rhetoric about immigrants. Rolling Stone reported on the results of a University of Massachusetts Amherst poll that found that 35% of Trump’s 2020 voters agree with his dark message about the threat posed by immigrants.

But what they probably don’t realize is the total hypocrisy of Trump’s rhetoric. That’s because for decades, including during Trump’s presidency, his company relied on undocumented workers to fill jobs as housekeepers, waitersgroundskeepers, and stonemasons at his properties, The Washington Post reported.

RELATED STORY: Trump's attacking a military family because that's who he is

The newspaper wrote:

Using them brought a double advantage: Trump could reap the financial benefit of undocumented labor — the ability to pay his employees lower wages and fewer benefits — and the political benefit of attacking it.

The subject of immigration and the border crisis has become the hot button issue for Republicans. House Republicans narrowly impeached Cuban-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Tuesday evening for allegedly failing to enforce immigration laws. But for decades, the Trump Organization ignored the employment eligibility of its workers.

RELATED STORY: House GOP votes to impeach Mayorkas, after failing first attempt

In December 2019, The Washington Post shared that its reporters had spoken with 48 undocumented immigrants who had worked for the Trump Organization at 11 of its properties, including five golf courses in New Jersey and New York and the Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida. Trump has said he was unaware that his properties had hired undocumented workers.

One of the undocumented workers, Sandra Diaz, an immigrant from Costa Rica who used a fake Social Security card to get hired, worked as Trump’s personal housekeeper at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. She described her duties to The Washington Post as follows:

Moving quickly through the two-story house in the mornings, Diaz carried out Trump’s fastidious instructions. In his closet, she would hang six sets of identical golf outfits: six white polo shirts, six pairs of beige pants, six neatly ironed pairs of boxer shorts. She would smear a dollop of Trump’s liquid face makeup on the back of her hand to make sure it hadn’t dried out.

In late 2018, Diaz and her successor as Trump’s personal housekeeper at Bedminster, Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, approached The New York Times through their immigration lawyer to talk about their experiences working at the Trump golf club.

Diaz, who worked at Bedminster from 2010-2013, is now a legal resident of the U.S., the Times reported. Morales was still working at Bedminster when she went public about her immigration status; she no longer works at the club and has filed an application for asylum status.

Morales told the Times that she could no longer keep silent because she felt hurt by Trump’s public  comments equating Latin American immigrants with violent criminals and by abusive comments from a supervisor at the golf club about her intelligence and immigration status.

“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” Morales told  The Times. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”

That led to more reports in The Washington Post and other major news outlets. Here’s an interview the two women gave to NowThis News.

After the women came forward, the Trump Organization began cracking down. It audited employees’ immigration papers and started using the federal E-Verify online system to check documents to confirm employment eligibility for new hires. Dozens of undocumented workers were either fired or quit in the runup to the 2020 election campaign.

In May 2019, CNN interviewed 19 of the undocumented immigrants who had worked at Trump golf clubs in New York and New Jersey:

But after 2020, this story about undocumented workers at Trump properties simply faded away. It’s important to keep Trump’s hypocrisy in the forefront as he has made immigration the major issue of his 2024 presidential campaign and is dehumanizing immigrants with fascistic rhetoric worse than when he ran in 2016.

The New York Times reported that Trump plans to introduce even more draconian immigration laws if elected than he did in his first term, which was marked by such cruel policies as separating children from their parents at the border. Trump’s plans for a second term include: deporting millions of people who don’t have legal status, setting up massive camps along the border to hold people awaiting deportation, a renewed Muslim travel ban, and the end of birthright citizenship.

Todd Schulte, the president of, an immigration and criminal justice advocacy group, told The New York Times:

“Americans should understand these policy proposals are an authoritarian, often illegal, agenda that would rip apart nearly every aspect of American life — tanking the economy, violating the basic civil rights of millions of immigrants and native-born Americans alike.”

It’s worth noting that about 200 undocumented Polish construction workers laid the foundation for Trump’s real estate empire when they were hired in 1980 to demolish a department store on Fifth Avenue on the future site of Trump Tower. In August 2016, just months before the presidential election, Time Magazine reported about how the Polish workers were exploited, “putting in 12-hour shifts with inadequate safety equipment at subpar wages that their contractor paid sporadically, if at all.” Trump denied that he knowingly used undocumented workers, instead blaming the contractor. But documents reviewed by Time showed that Trump sought out the Polish workers for the demolition project when he saw them working on another job.

After a protracted legal battle, Trump settled a lawsuit in 1998 regarding the workers over union pension violations, agreeing to pay nearly $1.4 million. Time reported the settlement details in 2017 after going to court to get the records unsealed.

Time reported that in 1990, Daniel Sullivan, a labor consultant and FBI informant hired by Trump in 1980 to deal with the problem of the undocumented Polish workers, told People magazine:

“It was disgusting how he used people,” Sullivan said. “I said, ‘Don’t exploit them like that. Don’t try to f-ck these poor souls over.’ It baffled me then, and it makes me sick even now that he knowingly had these Poles there for the purpose of Trump Tower at starvation wages. He couldn’t give a sh-t because he’s Donald Trump and everybody is here to serve him. Over time he became more and more monstrous and arrogant. I asked myself, ‘How long is it going to take for all of this to catch up with him?'”

It certainly hasn’t so far.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who like other Republican politicians has bowed the knee to Trump, even brought up the issue of Trump’s hiring of undocumented immigrants to work at or construct some of his properties during a February 2016 Republican presidential debate. But that didn’t stop Trump from winning the nomination with his promise to build a wall along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it.

Someone has been poisoning our democracy, and it sure isn’t hard-working immigrants.

RELATED STORY: For Republicans, it's now 'Trump First, Putin Second, America Third'

Campaign Action