Whitman's Illegal-Immigrant Maid – A Case Study in Document Fraud and Perjury

Documents released by Republican California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman reveal that her former maid, Nicandra (Nicky) Diaz Santillan, made liberal use of fraudulent documents in order to obtain employment.

On her fraudulently obtained Social Security card and other employment documents, Diaz uses the name Nicandra Santillan. On the I-9 form completed in 2000, she lists Nicky as a nickname and Diaz as her maiden name and middle initial.

Go to page 12 of the documents to view copies of the fraudulent Social Security card and the California driver's license that Diaz-Santillan used for employment purposes (a felony).

Diaz-Santillan also used the fraudulently obtained Social Security number (another felony) on the W-4 form (p. 13) that she completed and signed.

Finally, Diaz-Santillan apparently presented her employer with fraudulent documents and knowingly falsified her I-9 form (p. 14) under penalty of perjury (yet another felony).

According to the I-9 form, Diaz-Santillan presented her California driver's license and Social Security number to the employer for review (Section 2 of the I-9 form, List A and B).

In Section 1 of the I-9 form, Diaz-Santillan entered her fraudulently obtained Social Security number. She then acknowledged by signing the form that "I am aware that federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fines for false statements or use of false documents in connection with the completion of this form."

In addition, she attested, under penalty of perjury, that she was "a Lawful Permanent Resident" and she also entered a false Alien Number as proof of lawful permanent residence in the United States. This indicates that she may also have had a fake "green card" (one more felony). Then, she signed the I-9 form.

The employer did not sign the I-9 form made available to the public. The employer, therefore, failed to certify, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of her knowledge that Diaz-Santillan was authorized to work in the United States. If the employer did not sign the form, that is a violation of law.

Whitman was accused by the maid and her attorney of knowingly employing an illegal alien because when Whitman received "no match" letters from the Social Security Administration stating that there was a problem with Diaz-Santillan's Social Security number, she took no action.

There is no indication that the Social Security Administration followed up or required any corrective action to be taken even though the maid was using a Social Security number that belonged to someone else. Likewise, the Internal Revenue Service continued collecting taxes while turning a blind eye to the fact that a felony was being committed.

It is important to note that employers who receive a no-match letter are often unsure of what to do. They are told to verify the Social Security number but also warned not to discriminate against the employee. Efforts by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to clarify the situation and to require that action be taken against individuals using fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers were stymied by a combination of business and labor interests and the supporters of illegal aliens. (Chertoff's new rules were challenged in court and the Obama administration later dropped the rules altogether.)

This case shows once again that illegal immigrants are definitely not "undocumented." In fact, they have lots of fraudulently obtained documents, including bogus Social Security numbers, fake "green cards," phony drivers license, etc.

It also confirms that the "don't ask, don't tell" I-9 system is an invitation to document fraud.

Employers at all levels who refuse to use E-Verify or another similar status-verification program risk embarrassment when they are found to be hiring illegal aliens even if they were lied to and defrauded by the employee.

William Riley, Former ICE Assistant
Special Agent in Charge, Explains IMAGE:
View the Full Interview

Anyone considering running for political office would do well to use E-Verify for all new hires and to check all existing employees by either enrolling in the IMAGE system, participating in the Social Security Number Verification System, or by signing up for the Social Security Administration's Consent Based Social Security Number Verification Service.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of illegal aliens are not law-abiding. In fact, the Social Security Administration estimates that 75 percent of illegal aliens have fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers that they routinely use. Of course, this is a felony. In addition, illegal aliens routinely have a wide range of other fraudulently obtained documents and in many cases the documents belong to other Americans, which in many states is identity theft – yet another major felony.

This case raises a number of questions.

First, will law enforcement authorities and ICE pursue Nicandra Diaz-Santillan for the felonies she has committed, or will they give her a total pass as they do with virtually all illegal aliens who commit job-related felonies? The smart money says that they will do nothing – as usual.

Second, just how credible is Diaz-Santillan's assertions that Whitman cheated and mistreated her? After all, she apparently constantly lied about her immigrant status to her employer for nearly a decade and she shows no remorse for what appears to be a long history of committing major, employment-related felonies.