President Donald Trump’s consistent hostility towards immigrants is well-documented at this point, considering he founded his rise to national prominence and continues to run his policy in office on pushes like a border wall blocking off Mexico. This week, undocumented immigrants who the Trump Organization abruptly fired are planning to leverage that hostility against the president. According to their lawyer Anibal Romero, five former Trump Organization employees will be holding a Tuesday press conference right outside the Orlando, Florida, venue where the Trump team is planning an “official” launch of his already abundantly clear re-election campaign.
‘No one knows better than Trump himself that immigrants are hardworking individuals who support a multitude of industries across the country, including his restaurants, golf courses, wineries and hotels. And no one knows better than the undocumented workers who worked for Trump, how urgent it is for Congress to pass humane and sensible immigration laws so that immigrants can continue contributing to their communities and to our nation, just like they did for Trump and his family.’
The immigrants among Romero’s clients who will be in Orlando on Tuesday include some who’ve already publicly pushed for leaders to take up their case like Sandra Diaz and Victorina Morales, who met with New Jersey’s Democratic U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez to seek protection and even were guests at the president’s State of the Union address this year. Also present will be Wiston Garcia, Margarita Cruz, and Adela Garcia, who’ve also participated at least in part in public-facing advocacy before.
Those former Trump employees allege alongside other former colleagues of theirs that Trump Organization staffers “knew about their undocumented status but let them work anyway while using their precarious situation as leverage to underpay them and not give them benefits,” and in at least some cases, even helped them procure fake immigration papers making them seem like a documented worker, as the New York Daily News describes. Dozens of these kinds of employees were abruptly dismissed from Trump Organization properties as scrutiny rose of the practices associated with their employment.
The irony is that even while this mess has unfolded at properties with his name plastered across them, President Trump has continued to define himself with his antagonism towards immigrants. Routinely, he has offered dramatic numbers about the supposed cost of undocumented immigration to the United States, and he has also consistently painted undocumented immigrants as a security threat. Considering the glaring lack of undocumented immigrant crime rates at levels even on the same level as native-born Americans, there’s nothing for Trump to be basing his claims on but racism.
Trump will no doubt be hoping to use these same policy pillars to fuel his attempt to get re-elected in 2020. Although his Tuesday Orlando event is billed as his official campaign launch, he has already held numerous rallies — and faced rounds and rounds of dismal poll numbers, like the leaked internal figures from his campaign showing him trailing leading Democrats by sometimes double-digit margins in key states across the U.S. in the race for support.
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