Victorina Morales, a Guatemalan woman who spent years working for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. before revealing her status as an undocumented worker to the New York Times in December, has accepted an invitation to attend Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week.
Morales, who was terminated from her job after revealing her status and currently faces deportation, was invited to the address by Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey. Both the congresswoman’s office and Morales’ attorney confirmed her plans to attend with CNN.
“I hope that in his State of the Union address, Donald Trump will finally acknowledge the real face of immigrants in this country,” said Watson Coleman in a statement issued Wednesday, “women and children fleeing violence, law-abiding, tax-paying people who would do almost anything to be Americans.”
“And if he can’t,” she continued, “I’ve invited Victorina so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face.”
Morales told CNN she obtained her job easily, as did other undocumented workers.
“My supervisor asked me for my papers,” Morales told CNN through a translator, “and I told him I didn’t know how to do those papers. And he said ‘Victorina come, stand right there,’ and he took my picture in the laundry [room].”
Morales, who has lived in the United States since 1999, told the Times that two supervisors were aware of her undocumented status during her at the gold club in Bedminster. 46-year-old Sandra Diaz, a native of Costa Rica, told the paper she was also undocumented during her three-year stint at the club beginning in 2010. Now a legal resident, she said there were at least several undocumented workers who were hired during her time working for Trump.
During his campaign, Trump boasted his use of electronic verification system E-Verify to ensure the legal status of those hired to work for his company.
“We didn’t have one illegal immigrant on the job,” Mr. Trump said in 2016. Morales, who speaks no English and was driven to work daily by a fellow golf course employee due to her inability to legally obtain a license, told the Times she saw the President up close and personal.
From the Times:
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.
“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people close up,” she said.
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.”
She’ll have a chance to see her former boss up close once again next week.