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The Harvest Over, Trump Fires Undocumented Workers

January 01, 2020 (1 min read)

Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2019

"Nearly a year after the Trump Organization pledged to root out undocumented workers at its properties, supervisors at the Trump Winery on Monday summoned at least seven employees and fired them because of their lack of legal immigration status, according to two of the dismissed workers.

The timing of the firings at the rural Virginia winery, 11 months after the company began purging the ranks of undocumented greenskeepers and cooks at Trump golf courses, came during the vineyard’s winter downtime. Workers had finished the arduous annual grape harvest, which involved working 60-hour weeks and overnight shifts under floodlights.

Two of the fired workers — Omar Miranda, a 42-year-old tractor driver from Honduras, and a second employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect family members seeking to stay in the United States — said 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. Both had worked at the winery for more than a decade.

... “Donald Trump has known about these workers for months,” said Anibal Romero, an immigration lawyer who represents many of Trump’s former undocumented employees and is advising Miranda. “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.”

[Editor's Note: Employers face exposure to substantial financial penalties for knowingly keeping undocumented workers on payroll.  Will Trump's DHS and DOL investigate and fine his winery?  Stay tuned!]