Ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union tonight, many have dissected the topics he’s likely to cover (immigrations and calls for unity, according to The New York Times) and the guest list, which help emphasize points he’ll make during his speech. Last year, Trump invited Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the families of MS-13 victims. This year, Trump has invited Department of Homeland Security special agent and a young boy who has experienced bullying for sharing the Trump surname. But it’s not just who Trump has invited that has sparked conversation. Among the guests is Sandra Díaz, a Costa Rican immigrant who worked as an undocumented housekeeper for Trump between 2010 and 2013, who will join Congressman Jimmy Gomez.
Díaz is now a resident, but as a former employee for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, her story illustrates that Trump demonizes the undocumented community while benefitting from their labor. Díaz has stated that her undocumented status wasn’t a secret to her employers. Instead, she alleges that her supervisors used her status as a way to do jobs she didn’t want to do and they threatened her with deportation.
“When I first met Sandra, I was inspired by her story and her courage,” Congressman Díaz said. “It’s no small feat for a migrant from Costa Rica to stand up to a bully and hypocrite in the White House. She is living proof that President Trump couldn’t be more wrong —both morally and factually — when he demonizes those who come to America seeking a better life. Apparently, the Trump Organization had no problem with hiring undocumented immigrants like Sandra to polish their golf clubs, serve them drinks, and make their beds. Treating these hardworking people with dignity, however, was clearly a bridge too far.”
Last year, Díaz was one of a few employees or former employees who spoke to The New York Times about working at the New Jersey golf club. Since then, many of his undocumented workers have been fired. The Washington Post reports that Trump’s company has fired at least 18 undocumented immigrants from five locations in the past two months.
Victorina Morales, a Guatemalan immigrant fired from the Bedminster gold club, was one of the main voices in the NYT feature. Moralez, who now faces deportation, has also received an invitation to the SOTU from Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.
“I hope that in his State of the Union address, Donald Trump will finally acknowledge the real face of immigrants in this country — women and children fleeing violence, law-abiding, tax-paying people who would do almost anything to be Americans,” Watson Coleman said in a statement Wednesday. “And if he can’t, I’ve invited Victorina so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face.”