The immigration dilemma that Trump won’t talk about | Editorial

It took a while before something that happened at some other Trump Organization properties was confirmed in South Jersey, but it wasn’t surprising: The Washington Post just reported that three undocumented workers were recently fired from the Trump National Golf Club in Pine Hill, Camden County.

The report follows similar revelations about Trump country club employees at Bedminster, Somerset County, and in Westchester County, N.Y., by both the Post and the New York Times. The newspapers and other media organizations have since interviewed employees who were laid off, some after years or decades of service.

Eric Trump, President Donald Trump’s son, confirmed the Pine Hill firings. Although the Camden County workers have not, so far, granted any interviews, their stories are likely to be similar: They liked their jobs, which often included substantial responsibility, with pay that exceeded minimum wage. Some of the workers claimed that the clubs’ management was aware of their undocumented status, and said they were fired now because they were an embarrassment to the president’s hostile stance on recent immigrants, especially undocumented ones.

In a few cases, workers said they’d previously been told by their bosses that, to stay employed, they needed to obtain better fake Social Security and green cards that look more like the real thing.

Ignoring, for argument’s sake, the special brand of hypocrisy reserved for the discovery of these workers at Trump-owned businesses, the Pine Hill situation is a microcosm of a widespread employment dilemma.

It’s possible to have compassion for the released workers, who usually have made new lives and raised families in their adopted country, but still acknowledge that, in presenting forged documents, they’ve violated more laws than just coming here illegally. Their actions could lead to nonpayment of payroll taxes or theft of government benefits they’re not entitled to receive. (Of course, some undocumented workers remit payroll taxes through their employers, but are to scared to seek any of the associated benefits.)


By South Jersey Times Editorial Board for NJ.COM

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