The Trump Organization said Tuesday it would implement eligibility screening for prospective hires across all its properties to determine if they’re legally allowed to work in the United States amid reports of undocumented workers being employed at the company’s golf clubs for years.
“We are instituting E-Verify on all of our properties as soon as possible,” Eric Trump, the president’s son and the Trump Organization’s vice president, told The Washington Post. “We’re starting with the golf properties, and we are going to be doing all of them.”
He said in a separate statement to The New York Times: “As a company we take this obligation very seriously and when faced with a situation in which an employee has presented false and fraudulent documentation, we will take appropriate action.”
The Trump Organization did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
E-Verify is a federal program that confirms the immigration status of prospective employees. Eight states require most employers to use the system, but it’s voluntary in others, and just 10 percent of American employers are registered with the program, according to the Post.
The Post was the first to report Saturday that about a dozen employees at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York were fired over their immigration status. Many said they had worked there for years and that their managers knew they had fake documents but looked the other way.
“This is bogus. People have been there for 12, 13, 14 years,” Anibal Romero, an attorney for the workers, told The Associated Press. “One had the keys to Eric Trump’s bedroom.”
Separate stories last year featured accounts of other undocumented workers at other Trump properties, including the president’s New Jersey golf course. A woman working at that club since 2013 told the Times last month she was tasked with making the president’s bed at times. She also claimed her supervisor helped her get hired with false immigration documents.
President Donald Trump retains ownership of the Trump Organization properties but handed over day-to-day control of the company to Eric and his other son, Donald Trump Jr., when he was elected president. Trump routinely touted the organization’s use of E-Verify on the campaign trail in 2016 and said in an interview that the program was used for “just about every job.”
But Eric Trump told the Post that no such plan was in place for any of the family-branded golf courses and resorts.
“I must say, for me personally, this whole thing is truly heartbreaking,” Trump told the Post. “Our employees are like family, but when presented with fake documents, an employer has little choice. This situation is not unique to Trump Organization — it is one that all companies face.”
The president’s younger son lashed out at the media over reports of the firings in New York on Monday, saying he thought other stories were more worthy of coverage.
“Just shows how pathetic [the mainstream media] has gotten,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “I must say, for me personally, this whole thing is truly heartbreaking. It demonstrates our immigration system is severely broken and needs to be fixed immediately.”