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Unauthorized immigrants say Trump golf course ‘was built by illegals’

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Unauthorized immigrants who say they’ve worked illegally at President Donald Trump’s properties for years are coming forward en masse and saying the renowned golf courses relied on their low-paid labor to succeed, according to a Washington Post report on Friday.

“Many of us helped him get what he has today,” Dario Angulo, a former grounds crew member at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, told The Post. “This golf course was built by illegals.”

The Post spoke to 16 former Bedminster employees who said they worked for Trump illegally, and alleged that their managers were aware of their immigration statuses.

Angulo and several other Costa Rican immigrants, including Juan Carlos Zuñiga and Abel Mora, told The Post that they helped build the Bedminster golf club from the ground up in 2002. They recalled working from dawn until dusk every day of the week, performing intensely physical work — all for wages of $10 per hour or less.

“It was rake, rake, rake, the whole day,” Zuñiga told the newspaper, adding that bosses told him and his friends to bring more workers.

Read more: State and FBI investigators are reportedly probing allegations that Trump’s golf club gave fake green cards to undocumented workers

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Trump National Golf Club on July 16, 2017 in Bedminster, New Jersey
Getty Images/Matt Sullivan

The immigrants told The Post they purchased fake green cards and Social Security numbers to get their jobs, and that they were so clearly fake that they prompted jokes among the bosses.

According to a 2011 police report obtained by The Post, a top Bedminster manager was aware that at least one employee was suspected of being in the country illegally, though it’s unclear whether the employee was deported or whether the manager shared the document with others.

‘Our employees are like family’

The news comes after several former workers have come forward publicly to say they had worked illegally for Trump’s golf clubs.

One of the workers who was still employed at Bedminster when she came forward, Victorina Morales, told The New York Times in December that she felt hurt by Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants.

“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.”

Shortly after the allegations from Morales and others surfaced, the Trump organization fired at least 18 employees across five golf courses in New York and New Jersey due to their lack of work authorization.

Sandra Diaz, right, listens as Victorina Morales, right, recalls her experience working at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., during an interview, Friday Dec. 7, 2018, in New York.
Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews

In a statement to news outlets last month, Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump organization, said the issue is “truly heartbreaking.”

“Our employees are like family, but when presented with fake documents, an employer has little choice,” he said.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment. But Eric Trump has also said previously that the organization was unaware of hiring workers illegally.

“We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices,” the Trump organization said a December 2018 statement. “If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”

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