Photo of Meg Whitman.
Meg Whitman's former maid says Whitman was fully aware of her maid's illegal status. CC by wilsondan/Flickr

As an illegal immigrant, Meg Whitman’s maid was grateful her boss looked the other way, until she got fired. With the election just weeks away, the story is breaking at an inconvenient time for the Republican running for governor of California. During her campaign, Whitman has been forcefully advocating severe penalties for businesses that employ undocumented workers.

Meg Whitman’s maid: illegal for nine years

The news came out at a press conference Wednesday. At the press conference was attorney Gloria Allred and Meg Whitman’s Mexican maid, Nicky Diaz Santillan. Whitman fired this maid, reports the New York Daily News. The purpose of firing the maid was to make sure that during her campaign she didn’t have anything making her look bad. Whitman was not ignorant to the fact that Diaz Santillan was an illegal immigrant, reports Allred. She wanted the cheap labor the maid provided and so pretended to know nothing. Allred claims that her client was “disrespected, humiliated and emotionally and financially abused.” Whitman is being sued by Diaz for reimbursement for mileage and unpaid wages.

Many assume ‘a political stunt’ is all that’s happening

The name on the Social Security number Diaz Santillan provided was different than her name. Supposedly, Allred says, Whitman got a letter notifying her of this in 2003 by the Social Security Administration. According to the Houston Chronicle, Whitman said there wasn’t ever a letter like this sent to her. In June 2009, five months after Whitman began to start running for governor, Diaz Santillan came to Whitman claiming she had used her sister’s documents to get hired, says the Whitman campaign . According to Whitman’s campaign, Allred is trying to influence the November election with this political stunt. Whitman seems genuinely sad for her maid. She said, after a San Jose, California event, “I feel terrible for Nicky. … She’s being manipulated.”

Illegal immigration issue

Part of Whitman’s campaign platform is she wants to implement fines to anyone hiring illegal immigrants in California. The Washington Independent reports that some political analysts think Allred’s allegations will hinder her campaign’s efforts to reach out to California’s large Latino population. Hypocrite is probably the name she’ll be branded with. This should be expected.

Information from

New York Daily News:

Houston Chronicle:

Washington Independent:

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