Ms. Morales said she will never forget the day Mr. Trump pulled up to the pro shop in his cart as she was washing its large, arched windows. Noticing that Ms. Morales, who is shy of five feet tall, could not reach the top, he said, “Excuse me,” grabbed her rag and wiped the upper portion of the glass.
Mr. Trump then asked Ms. Morales her name and where she was from, she recalled. “I said, ‘I am from Guatemala.’ He said, ‘Guatemalans are hard-working people.’” The president then reached into his pocket and handed her a $50 bill.
“I told myself, ‘God bless him.’ I thought, he’s a good person,” Ms. Morales recalled.
Soon after Mr. Trump launched his campaign for the presidency, in June 2015, Ms. Morales recalled, one of the managers summoned her to tell her that she could no longer work inside Mr. Trump’s house.
Around the same time, she said, several workers, who she said were also working illegally, had their work days shaved from five days to three days. “The workers panicked. A lot of people just left,” she said.
Two months after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, in March 2017, Ms. Morales said that she and other workers received a new employee handbook.
Under a section titled “Immigration Compliance,” the handbook stated that employees were required to present documents specified by the federal government. “Those that are found to have falsified information will not be eligible for employment,” the handbook stated.
Ms. Morales said she was given a new employment form to sign. She could not understand the form, she said, but her lawyer, Mr. Romero, said it was likely an updated I-9 employment eligibility document — a form that, like the previous one, referenced her falsified documents.