In a new series for New Left Media, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant who works as a busser at Donald Trump’s Soho hotel recently opened up about what it’s like to work for a man whose immigration platform rests on characterizing Mexican immigrants like himself as criminals and rapists.
“I know I could lose my job for just talking about Trump, but it doesn’t make me proud everyday to go to work under his name,” Ricardo Aca said in a video profile.
Aca reveals that he crossed the border at the age of 14 with his family and has been living in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn for almost ten years. He went to high school in New York City and earned an associate’s degree in commercial photography. Having been here for most of his adolescent to adult life, Aca has grown accustom to the negative stereotypes many have against immigrants.
“I feel like Republicans think Mexicans are lazy, but I personally work three jobs, my stepfather works two jobs,” Aca said. “Everything that my family has we have earned it by working.”
While other Republican presidential hopefuls have attempted to distance themselves from Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric, Aca said their own immigration platforms aren’t much different from those of the real-estate mogul.
“I may have an accent, but I’m not stupid,” he said.
Aca’s bold statements provide a personal spotlight on the growing anxiety some immigrants are experiencing as they witness Trump maintaining his position as the Republican front runner.
“We don’t know if we should laugh or if we should cry,” Mexican columnist Guadalupe Loaeza told the Washington Post earlier this week. “We think he’s really a nightmare.”
But Aca offers a more hopeful outlook, saying he doesn’t believe most Americans share the same views as Trump. After the video’s publication, the payroll department at Trump’s hotel restaurant ordered Aca to bring the renewal of his working permits. When he walked entered through the kitchen, he told the Times his fellow co-workers, sushi chefs, and line cooks applauded him.