House Democrats have requested an FBI investigation into whether the Trump Organization is a “criminal enterprise” after reports of mass firings of undocumented immigrants at President Donald Trump’s golf clubs, according to The Associated Press.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and nine other House members sent a letter to the head of the FBI asking for an investigation into whether the Trump Organization knowingly hired workers without the proper documents, and even helped them procure false ones as some workers have alleged.
The letter says the allegations by workers interviewed in media reports raise “serious questions of criminal activity and numerous violations of employment laws” including conspiracy charges and forced or coerced labor.
“Instead of hiding in the shadows, some of these brave workers have now decided to come forward and detail an elaborate ploy by the Trump Organization to systematically procure cheap immigrant labor and employ undocumented immigrants — despite knowing that the documents they provided were false,” the House members wrote.
Also requested in the letter are protections from deportation for workers who have come forward, characterizing them as potential witnesses to crimes.
After reports surfaced of undocumented immigrants working at Trump’s properties, the Trump Organization stressed that it does not knowingly hire immigrants with fraudulent papers.
“Our employees are like family but when presented with fake documents, an employer has little choice,” Trump official Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said in a statement after 13 workers were fired last month at his club in New York’s Westchester County. “This situation is not unique to Trump Organization — it is one that all companies face.”
President Trump has made immigration his signature issue, making the news of his company's hiring practices all the more noteworthy.
The letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray also cited previously reported allegations that some managers had threated to tell authorities that workers were in the country illegally if they complained about work conditions. One worker also complained about physical abuse, saying she was thrown against a wall three times at the Bedminster, New Jersey, club.
The Trump Organization has rejected those allegations.