The Washington Post published an important, moving story on Wednesday about an undocumented immigrant named Juan Quintero who was employed by the Trump family for years—working particularly closely with Eric Trump at an upstate New York hunting property he co-owns with his brother, Don Jr.—but has now been laid off, seemingly for the sake of political optics, and left unable to support his family. It’s the latest in a series of reports that make clear that the Trumps were happy until very recently to systematically exploit the low cost of undocumented labor when it suited them, even as they complained publicly that illegal immigration is an infestation that is ruining America. It’s a well-done piece and you should read it and consider what we, as a society, owe to the shadow population we’ve created of individuals who work exhausting jobs under the constant threat of arrest and deportation so that the more fortunate among us can pay a little less than we otherwise would have for material comforts.
For the purposes of this post, though, I’d like to “drill down” on a different aspect of the Post’s article: How insanely creepy the Trump brothers’ Dutchess County, New York, hunting property (which they co-own with at least three partners) sounds. Consider:
• The Post refers to it as a “shooting preserve” and “private weekend playground for President Trump’s sons.”
• It’s known as “Leather Hill.”
• One of Quintero’s jobs at the property was planting crops that would attract animals for the Trump children to shoot. (Deer, specifically. But it sounds more disturbing when you say “animals.”)
• According to a prior AP story, neighbors have said they know the Trumps are using the property when they start seeing dark SUVs and hearing enormous explosions that seem too loud to be mere rifle fire. The Trumps wouldn’t comment about their activities on the property to the AP or Post, but a co-owner named Jeffrey Ferraro, who is a wealth-management specialist in Greenwich, Connecticut, did speak to the AP. Said Ferraro: “Guns make noise. That’s all I can tell you.”
• The property abuts a field of unmarked graves on the grounds of an abandoned psychiatric hospital. (Really!)
Nothing like a secretive wooded “preserve” for the idle sons of a weird millionaire, stocked with heavy weaponry and located next to a graveyard for the insane! Ha-ha! Honey, remember to lock the car doors the next time we’re driving through Dutchess County.