It was important for Sandra Diaz to be invisible.
Before entering the Trump family villa, she would tie back her hair, pull on latex gloves and step into delicate paper shoe coverings. She knew not to wear makeup or perfume that might leave the faintest trace of her presence.
As Donald Trump’s personal maid, Diaz was dealing with a fussy celebrity owner who presided like a monarch over the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster long before he was elevated to president. She was an immigrant from Costa Rica working illegally for Trump with a fake Social Security card she had bought for $50. Being invisible was her life’s work.
Moving quickly through the two-story house in the mornings, Diaz carried out Trump’s fastidious instructions. In his closet, she would hang six sets of identical golf outfits: six white polo shirts, six pairs of beige pants, six neatly ironed pairs of boxer shorts. She would smear a dollop of Trump’s liquid face makeup on the back of her hand to make sure it hadn’t dried out.
The years of service that Diaz and other undocumented immigrant housekeepers, cooks, landscapers, greenskeepers, waiters, bellhops, farm hands and caddies devoted to the Trump Organization have given them a remarkable vantage point into the unvarnished lives of the now-first family. They have seen poolside tantrums and holiday arguments. They’ve laughed with the in-laws and watched after the grandkids.
Their recollections also show how Trump’s entrance into presidential politics — denouncing illegal immigrants as criminals and job-stealers — upended their lives and prompted some of them to publicly confront their former boss.
Over the past year, The Washington Post has spoken with 48 people who had worked illegally for the Trump Organization at 11 of its properties in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. These workers spent years — and in some cases nearly two decades — performing the manual labor that keeps Trump’s resorts clean and their visitors fed. [Continue reading…]