Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers

Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers, by Miriam Jordan.

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.

Ms. Morales’s journey from cultivating corn in rural Guatemala to fluffing pillows at an exclusive golf resort took her from the southwest border, where she said she crossed illegally in 1999, to the horse country of New Jersey, where she was hired at the Trump property in 2013 with documents she said were phony.

She said she was not the only worker at the club who was in the country illegally. …

Trump’s golf course at Bedminster

A diminutive woman with only two years of education who came to the United States speaking no English, Ms. Morales has had an unusual window into one of the president’s favorite retreats: She has cleaned the president’s villa while he watched television nearby; she stood on the sidelines when potential cabinet members were brought in for interviews and when the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, arrived to confer with the president. …

But Ms. Morales said she has been hurt by Mr. Trump’s public comments since he became president, including equating Latin American immigrants with violent criminals. It was that, she said, along with abusive comments from a supervisor at work about her intelligence and immigration status, that made her feel that she could no longer keep silent.

“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,” she said. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.” …

That Ms. Morales appeared able to secure employment with what she said were fake documents is not surprising: An estimated eight million unauthorized immigrants are in the labor force, and it is an open secret that many businesses, especially in the service sector, hire them. In hiring workers who are already in the United States, employers are required to examine identity and work authorization documents and record them on an employment eligibility form. But companies are not required in most cases to take additional steps to verify the authenticity of documents. …

Trump:

Mr. Trump has a long history of relying on immigrants at his golf and hotel properties. …

Ms. Morales said she will never forget the day Mr. Trump pulled up to the pro shop in his cart as she was washing its large, arched windows. Noticing that Ms. Morales, who is shy of five feet tall, could not reach the top, he said, “Excuse me,” grabbed her rag and wiped the upper portion of the glass.

Mr. Trump then asked Ms. Morales her name and where she was from, she recalled. “I said, ‘I am from Guatemala.’ He said, ‘Guatemalans are hard-working people.’” The president then reached into his pocket and handed her a $50 bill.

“I told myself, ‘God bless him.’ I thought, he’s a good person,” Ms. Morales recalled.

A dirty secret of the US upper class is that their lives are lubricated by low-paid domestic labor, much of it from illegal immigrants, and all of it low priced because of competition for low-paid jobs from illegal immigrants. Including Trump.