Trump Organization Fires 7 Undocumented Employees From Virginia Winery, Washington Post Reports

Nation/World
Trump Tower stands in midtown Manhattan on Dec. 10, 2018 in New York City. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Trump Tower stands in midtown Manhattan on Dec. 10, 2018 in New York City. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Trump Organization on Monday fired “at least seven” undocumented workers at its winery in Virginia, The Washington Post reported, a move two of the former employees claim was strategic.

The Post said in its Tuesday report that the firings at the Trump Winery came nearly a year after the company “pledged to root out undocumented workers at its properties,” but two of the former winery employees told the paper their dismissals came only after they completed the labor-intensive work at the site.

The Trump Organization has previously come under fire for having hired undocumented workers, firing in February at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey.

Two of the now-fired winery employees, both of whom worked there for more than a decade, according to the Post, told the paper that “they thought the company had held off on firing them until after the year’s work was complete, taking advantage of their labor for as long as possible.”

This week’s dismissals “came during the vineyard’s winter downtime,” according to the Post.

“I think they wanted to get their product out well, the grapes, to make sure that was taken care of, and once things were slow, they could fire us all,” one unnamed employee told the paper. The other, Omar Miranda, a tractor driver from Honduras, told the Post that the winery “didn’t make this decision in the summer because they needed us a lot then.”

In recent months, undocumented workers from Trump’s organizations have highlighted their ties to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly disparaged Latinos and has made pushing hardline immigration policies a trademark of his presidency. Workers met with members of Congress in January to ask for protection, and two of them attended the State of the Union in February as guests of Democratic lawmakers.

CNN has reached out to the Trump Organization for comment. The organization did not respond to the Post’s questions about the firings.

The paper said the winery has “long relied” on seasonal, documented immigrants to operate, but that “there has also long been a smaller parallel staff of undocumented employees who worked at the property year-round. This was the group fired on Monday.”

Anibal Romero, a lawyer representing some of undocumented workers fired from the Trump Organization and who is advising Miranda, echoed Miranda’s claim about the timing of this week’s firings, telling the Post that the President “has known about these workers for months.”

“He waits until the fields are tended, grapes picked, wine made. He then discards them like a used paper bag. Happy New Year. You’re fired,” he told the Post.

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