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Menendez wants to protect former Trump golf resort workers from being deported

Writes to both FBI director and DHS secretary

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., questioned a senior State Department official Tuesday about sanctions against Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., questioned a senior State Department official Tuesday about sanctions against Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Robert Menendez wants to make sure undocumented immigrants who formerly worked at President Donald Trump’s golf clubs are not deported while allegations of misconduct by the Trump organization are being investigated.

Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen requesting that the former workers be protected. They were reportedly fired from Trump-operated facilities in both Bedminster, N.J., and Westchester County, N.Y., after it became public that they did not have legal immigration status.

The senator recently met with the former workers, including Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, who both worked at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster and came forward in a New York Times story back in December.

Morales and Diaz will be attending Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

“Because the individuals I met with and others that may step forward appear to be potential witnesses to a crime and may provide the evidence necessary to conduct an appropriate investigation, I urge you to consider requesting or supporting authorization for them to remain in the U.S. during your necessary investigation,” Menendez wrote in his letter to Wray and Nielsen, which was released Monday evening.

Menendez wrote that he was concerned the former Trump workers may not be available to U.S. law enforcement if they are made to leave the country.

“The workers I met with describe a hostile environment where they were verbally abused and threatened,” he wrote. “Given the serious nature of these allegations, I request that the FBI/HSI immediately open an investigation regarding the Trump National Golf Clubs.”

Morales and Diaz will be among the most notable guests of Democratic members of Congress, attending as guests of New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and California Rep. Jimmy Gomez.

“Additionally, law enforcement agencies working with a potential witness to a crime have tools at their disposal to assist in their investigation and may request — or support requests — for immigration or other authorized status, such as continued presence, deferred action, U or T visas, or any other appropriate relief,” Menendez wrote. “Attorney Anibal Romero represents the individuals I met with and I strongly urge you to work with him to assess the best approach regarding the status of these immigrants to ensure these potential witnesses are available to assist in the appropriate investigations.”

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