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Meg Whitman's immigration imbroglio

Allred-diaz I can't say I'm surprised by the revelation  that GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman employed an undocumented worker for nearly a decade (Whitman is, after all, wealthy and Californian). She admitted as much before her former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, appeared with attorney Gloria Allred to accuse Whitman of knowingly violating federal law and "throwing me away like a piece of garbage" once her employment became politically unpalatable. Whitman says she hired Diaz only after all the necessary documentation had been provided but fired the housekeeper after she admitted she was in the country illegally. Could happen to anyone (who can afford hired help).

If Whitman's account is true -- and I'm inclined to believe her story, since it can be easily verified by examining tax records -- then she deserves to be let off the hook. But it’s too bad that this will probably demolish any credibility Whitman may have on immigration. Her positions,  though harsh to those of us who support comprehensive reform by the feds, are moderate by conservative standards (build the wall, increase workplace inspections, send National Guard troops to the border, etc.). In the primary campaign, she showed some depth on the issue by distancing herself from Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who promised  to deny illegal immigrants public benefits, including public education and emergency services. Though Whitman believes Arizona's draconian anti-immigration law should stand,  she wouldn't support the same kind of legislation in California.

None of this is to say Whitman's views on immigration are especially heartening, but her comparatively tempered rhetoric on the issue suggests she wouldn't be given to implementing the harsh measures advocated by California Republicans. Whitman may be inclined to embrace more extreme positions to restore any lost credibility among her conservative base. She ought to resist that temptation.

-- Paul Thornton

Photo: Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred speaks to the media as she represents Whitman's former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, at Allred's offices in Los Angeles.

Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

 

Comments () | Archives (38)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lowelldice

So the Meg Whitman's way of holding the employer accountable is take the employee's word, and what they fill out on forms as true, and then toss letters from social security administration informing the employer the the employee's social security number is not on record -- Now that is a delightful way for the rich to get away with employing illegals with no accountability on the part of the employer.

Independent Voter

Utterly disgusted by the Whitman campaign and will be voting for Jerry Brown. Nicky Diaz is an inspiration to us all and a genuinely beautiful human being. Meg should be ashamed of herself.

Ed

Why hasn't this woman been deported yet?

Mitchell Young

"the Meg Whitman's way of holding the employer accountable is take the employee's word"

Likely, if she failed to take the employee's word, which were accompanied by documentation on which Ms. Diaz perjured herself, she would have opened herself up to 'anti-discrimination' litigation. After all, the Obama administration is going after Arizona's community colleges for asking non-citizen immigrant job applicants for their 'green cards' in addition to the easily faked state-id and social security card.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And that's no accident.

Joel Wischkaemper

It surprises me when anyone suggests any candidate for office that wants to be elected does anything BUT support the law. And Poizner's position IS ..law.. Clearly, the disloyalty and the anti-Americanism of NOT supporting the citizens and laws of this country should be met with rejection. Steve Poizner seems to be the very best candidate for a State that is being ravaged by the consequences of the invasion of the illegal aliens.

SantaAna77

Nicky Diaz, accused Whitman of "throwing me away like a piece of garbage"

Well when you lie on your application and admit identity theft, most Americans would be fired from their jobs. When you act like a piece of garbage, don't expect to be treated like a rose.

Fiscal Conservative

Lowelldice, you are clearly a fool! No documention would be sent to Ms. Wittman directly as Ms. Diaz was hired through an Agency. It was the Agency that handled all documentation including copies of Ms. Diaz's drivers license and social security number. These documents can clearly be obtained from the IRS. The Agency would have received such documentation and been responsible to follow up with Ms. Diaz. With regards to Independent Voter. Ms. Diaz, is not an inspiration. She is a liar, guilty of fraud, and guilty of idendity theft. She is a criminal. Ms. Wittman is not guilty of any wrong doing and in fact followed the law when she fired Ms. Diaz upon learning she was in the country illegally. Ms. Allred is nothing more than a Democrook hack calling herself a lawyer trying to smear the GOP candidate 4 weeks prior to the election in an attempt to save the Jerry Brown candidacy.

SantaAna77

So Gloria Allred is trying to sue Whitman for... following the law?

Rich K

Isn't it convenient that this phoney story comes out just before the election? How come the Times headlines Whitman's fault when she got the employee from an agency complete with the proper paperwork? Amazing how the smear tactics come out when liberals get scared. How come liberals can't stand on the issues without throwing smear bombs? Immigration is beyond a state governor's powers and resides with the federal government. Sad when you have to throw the gun when you're out of bullets...eh libs?

Scott Seatbelt McLean

If you are a billionaire like Meg Whitman, you can conveniently “look the other way”, for a stunning NINE YEARS. No idea in all that time that you had hired an illegal alien? Too busy not voting? And no penalty at all? No report to the INS? It is the law, isn’t it Meg? Or is this your version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell?”

Cosmo

I have been working at my company as a specialist for 11 years and all I will get before they throw me out “like garbage” - 15 min to get my staff. We had lady from Germany who worked for 6 years in a professional position on a working visa. The company refused to sponsor her after her visa expired despite she was in a good standing. Now we have Nicky Diaz who was a criminal in the first place but expects to be treated like a “family”. Blame Whitman for keeping a snake in the house for 9 years. For people who are not familiar with immigration law: there is absolutely nothing an employer can do for an illegal worker in this situation as a housekeeper is not a professional occupation, and Nicky Diaz is not a super model or celebrity baseball player. Disclaimer: I am not a pro-Whitman.

Dave

I work as an HR professional and it is against the law to not hire someone because you think they might be illegal, especially if they provide all the "proper" documentation when hired. The Federal government has an online system for legal status verification but an employer CANNOT use it to refuse employment of an individual. If the Federal government determines that an employee is illegal then the Federal government may take action, but employer's do not have the power to do anything about it. If an employer fires an employee because they THINK they're illegal then the employer can be sued for racial discrimination.

We cannot make employers accountable in any meaningful way unless we can provide them with the simple ability to immediately determine the legal status of an individual prior to hiring.

tony

Why does it matter if Meg is wealthy. She is a hard working woman. Is she expected to come home and clean her own house? I just don't get comments like "Whitman is, after all, wealthy and Californian". You don't have to be wealthy to employ someone to clean your home. You just need to have a job that allows you to pay for those services. You also do not need to live in California to hire someone to clean your home. Are supposed to believe that Jerry Brown cleans his own home?

tony

Nicky Diaz is a fraud and a criminal. Meg did nothing wrong. She can afford to hire a documented worker was lead to believe that she was. She was also paying her the wage of a documented worker. Shame on Gloria Alred for taking on this frivolous case.

Mitchell Young

From the documents released on TMZ, you can read that Diaz came to the US in 1990, shortly after the last amnesty. That will show you how effective 'comprehensive immigration reform' is.

I'm just waiting for Colbert part II, where he explains how difficult it is to do some vacuuming and laundry for $25 a hour.

It would be interesting to know if the woman was having taxes withheld, or was she on a 1099 basis. At any rate, she has two children, so cost us something in the neighborhood of $250,000 for schooling alone. No way she and her husband paid that much in income/sales/(indirect) property tax.

Jon Healey

@Tony -- Checked the price of a cleaning service lately?

Vivien

I detest Whitman.
But she's not in the wrong here. You CAN unknowingly employee an illegal. When the cartels and coyotes are printing false documents with the sophistication to full immigration officials, sheriffs, etc. then how is a private citizen supposed to deduce someone is illegal? Look at their teeth? See if they speak Spanish? It happens.
I would love it if this issue just dies. If you're not voting for Whitman, then don't vote for her because she's a bigot, not that great of a businesswoman (e.g. Skype purchase) or because she has no real plan to solve our very real problems.
This ... this is just slow news day filler. At best.

August

Why is she NOT hauled away and thrown in jail? You throw homeless veterans into those HORRIFYING TORTURE CHAMBERS for the crime of sleeping outside

HDTVCAMERA


This is political grandstanding at its worst. Gloria Allred has no shame and will never miss a chance to inject herself into the news or politics. The hysterical crying of Diaz the Felon Illegal Immigrant, was over the top and reeked of an overdramatic performance.

Diaz sniveled “She was throwing me away like a piece of garbage.” She gets no sympathy from me. She should be deported for her felony use of an illegal social security number.

I don't like Meg Whitman but this is not going to make me like her less. The way I see it California is destine to fail and go bankrupt either now or when the final business is driven out because of over taxation.

raad

We have a Billionaire, with a B and yet did not offer to help Diaz "like an extended family" according to Whitman, get her immigration papers fixed, what hypocrisy, willing to spend 120,ooo,ooo plus on a race to be the governor for ego gratification and not spend few thousands to help a person that worked in her home for nine years.
All we talk about is legal aspects, what about the human and character, it seems much easier for me to vote based on character than issues.
Issues come and go, and we never get elected officials to follow what they say anyways, but character is a very accurate predictor.
Leaders above all should be an example to all of us.

Geena Rodriguez

Deport this woman. She brings shame to all legal immigrants.

Geena Rodriguez

and another thing

i guess dems are desperate because they just opened a whole lotta' problems for a large number of key democrats. this brand of democrats always seem to have a special knack for putting foot in mouth. are they saying that THIS is what they have to fight Whitman with? are they serious 'bout dat?

Carlos 001

Shame on Gloria Allred for exploiting this woman for political reasons. Hypocrite that she is. If Nicky thinks that she's been used after she was able to work for 9 years for Meg Whitman (for $23 an hour) wait till her 15 minutes are up with Allred, the Democrats and the Stupid Local News stations, (especially those en espa~ol). She'll be paraded around for a while then tossed away when the camera lights go out. If she ever gets deported, I doubt that a big name lawyer-mediawhore will be holding her hand then.

aloysius1

Time will tell. This too will pass.

j christen

The new "queen of mean" Whitman has no bona fides, never held an elected office of any kind and now wants to virtully buy the governor's office. Paul Thornton, inclined to believe her even though she had someone working in her house, caring for her kids for 9 years and Whitman doesn't know. Sorry Paul, but logically she either didn't care enough to check or she knew. I suspect she thought it was beneath her to bother with such trivia. Let's elect the new "queen of mean".

Jerry

This is the Republican's other don't ask, don't tell policy.

Hiring illegals as domestic workers and looking the other way...

Mitchell Young

Let me see if I understand.

Two months ago, during the whole SB1070 thing, we were told there was no way a trained police officer could tell the difference between an illegal alien and a legal resident -- that 'profiling' based on inability to speak passable English, or attire, or skin color, plus failure to produce proper documentation, would surely result in legal residents, citizens, even the native-born being hauled off for deportation.

Now, we are told that a non-trained, busy professional woman is supposed to suss out the illegal status of her employee, a person who presents 'proper' documentation, who swears in writing that see is a legal resident and eligible to work in the US, who was (I believe) using her sister's valid social security number.

Which is it guys?

At least Mr. Thorton, to his credit, recognizes the Catch-22.

C K Courtright

Nicky Diaz needs to be brought up on charges and arrested. She has committed FRAUD. She fraudulently applied to the employment agency with falsified documents. She has stolen the identity of a United States CITIZEN!! The citizen whose social security number (SSN) she has stolen will have issues for the rest of their lives as an AKA (also known as) will be permanently on their SSN. If she has credit cards under that SSN, it affects that US citizen's credit report. It is not right and she needs to be brought up on federal charges of identity theft.

The agency that Meg Whitman went through was responsible for verifying the documentation that Nicky Diaz brought to them. Why is the agency not being brought up on charges for hiring an ILLEGAL ALIEN? If I was Meg Whitman I would be looking into legal actions against them. The State of California needs to bring the employment agency up on charges for hiring Illegal Aliens.

Nicky Diaz has been filing false tax returns. The IRS and the State of California's Franchise Tax Board needs to be looking at the fact she has knowingly filed false documentation and at the bottom of those forms they all state (PENALTY OF...).

If a normal citizen stole someone's identity, they would have the kitchen sink thrown at them. The same should be for illegal aliens who steal identities and falsity official documentation.

She needs to be turned over the ICE, the state and federal attorneys need to file the appropriate charges and maybe this will be a wake up call as to what really needs to be done with people conducting CRIMINAL acts against US Citizens.

jack

I'd never vote for anyone who hires illegals. People that do it should go to jail, not run for office.

alexander

Just last week I was checking an applicant on e-verify and his SS came back as not recognised.
I called the SS Administration number given on the e-verify website and I was told that it would have been illegal to decline employment to that person for that reason. What gives?

MartyK

So What? What are this woman's damages? Why get a lawyer against Meg? None of this is about helping this woman. It's 100% about trying to cause Whitman to lose the election.

RoBoWayne

It's not up to Ms Whitman to prove the Social Security division did NOT send her a letter, but it IS up to Ms Diaz (the Illegal Leech), to prove it did happen.
Funny thing, the suit claims the opposite.
Any Judge will throw this out based on no evidence of wrong doing on Whitman;s part.
The Democrats know this, but hope to pull support from Whitman right before the election.
Pretty dirty, but expected from the slimy Progressives.
And WHY hasn't the criminal Illegal Alien (admits false documents and identity theft!) NOT been tried, punished, and deported?
THIS is what Liberalism has done to California, and it has creeped into the communities of REAL America, too!

Mike

Only for a modern day Republican is everything hunky dory to brush up to the brink of illegality, find out otherwise, twist and lie and evade to extricate oneself and then expect to be elected. The maid isn't in this election. Ethical behavior demands more from those who seek office. However, this is not your uncle's Republican Party anymore.

Dorothy

"If Whitman's account is true -- "

It turned out that her account was a lie.

Deb

I am a die-hard Democrat but I have to agree with Meg on this one. I'm beginning to think that Gloria Allred is a paid operative for the Republican party, since no one could have scripted this bit of tripe to make the Republican candidate look better. So far it seems she's doing a good job at showing that Ms. Whitman did the best one could under these circumstances. But it also seems to me that we need to figure out how to make it so people like my great grandparents can come here and do a good job for their new home America. Mine did it without lies, public assistance, or lawyers.

Donna

If I were a billionaire I could only imagine that people would scrutinize by behavior if I chose to run for public office. If I employed people at my home for any purpose and I recognized that those persons speaking skills indicated that they were not native English speakers and did not speak English with full proficiency, I just maybe concerned that they could possibly be in this county illegally. I would be very concerned and I would go steps beyond the obvious to ensure their employment was legal.

Just a commnet....

lee

Hay one min. here: Nicandra 9 years ago brakes U.S. law by Slipping in to the country ILLEGALY, then she acquires phony dockuments ILLEGALY. Then she uses the dockuments to support her perjury in state and Fed. Applications , S/S and Fedral incom tax, ILLEGALY. Am I missing something here ? . Now I see that a low life like Gloria Allred cralling out from under a rock whith her libral frends, and saying that Meg Whitmen is a bad person. Is anyone stupid enough to even care what that money grubing gold diger Gloria Allred has to say, Besides the librails of corse.

ramcam6

If Arizona's new immigration law is draconian according to the LA Times then what does LAT characterize the federal law which is tougher than Arizona's. The federal law allows them to stop anyone for no reason so it would result in profiling. The AZ law specifically says profiling is not allowed and requires stopping for a legitimate law being broken before identity or citizenship can be checked into. Does the paper know what draconian means or maybe they just don't care. I wish the power plants could stop sending any power to California until they apologize and stop the unwarranted boycott. Don't the lawmen in California ask for driver's license, registration and proof of insurance on a traffic stop like anywhere else?
And if they stop someone with no ID they ask for name and date of birth. LAT knows all this, they just want to keep the pot stirred up. Jerks they are all. We are supposed to be a country of laws and that includes proper immigration by going through the proper steps. Not by hiring a coyote and having them sneak you in across the lawful border.


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