Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > A new low in politics: Exploiting Whitman’s former housekeeper to win votes

A new low in politics: Exploiting Whitman’s former housekeeper to win votes

LatinaLista — The press releases circulating today in advance of the press conference held by the former housekeeper of California’s Republican candidate Meg Whitman and her new lawyer, Gloria Allred, promised to reveal shocking information.

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 6.20.14 PM.png

Given the fact that the press release stressed that the former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, was a “Latina” in the employ of Whitman, it wasn’t hard to surmise that this was yet again one of those revelations of an undocumented immigrant working for an unwitting employer.

I say unwitting because the gossip site TMZ has released documents issued from the Whitman camp that show the housekeeper falsified her application when she applied for work in 2000.

From what I can gather, the purpose of the press conference was to show the “bad side” of Whitman for escorting the housekeeper to the door when she found out she was undocumented.

According to the housekeeper:

“From now on you don’t know me and I don’t know you,” Diaz said Whitman told her in the summer of 2009. “I was shocked and hurt that Ms. Whitman would treat me this way after nine years. I realized at that moment that she didn’t appreciate my work. I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage.”

Unfortunately, undocumented domestic workers suffer this kind of blow, or any worker for that matter, when they cease to think of their bosses as their employers but more like friends.

Why it would have been a shock to Nicky that her boss, who it was known was going to run for California governor, would immediately distance herself can only lead to the assumption that the Whitman’s treated her more like a family member than an employee.

That Whitman immediately escorted Nicky to the door when Nicky asked for help to legalize her status – per Nicky’s testimony – pretty much illustrates that Whitman wasn’t aware that her housekeeper of nine years was undocumented before then or else she would have ignored Nicky’s confession and gone on with life as usual.

But she didn’t. She reacted the way she did because she knew that such a revelation could torpedo any future political aspirations.

It’s sad that politics has to get so ugly but it’s far worse that the state’s Democrats elected to deem Nicky expendable in their quest to win the election.


From all published reports, there is no mention that Nicky is now a citizen. By coming forward with this information about Whitman isn’t going to win Nicky citizenship — though I wouldn’t be surprised if an unscrupulous person promised her that she would become one if she dished this dirt.

From the way I understand it, the only way Nicky can be eligible to be a citizen is if she was exploited and/or abused by the Whitmans. It sure doesn’t look like that was the case.

The fact that Allred would purposely parade Nicky in front of cameras with such a weak case underscores that this has nothing to do with helping Nicky but everything to do with discrediting Whitman.

There is no doubt Nicky has suffered exploitation but it’s coming from the people who are now claiming to be her friends. To them, Nicky is just another undocumented who will be deported once their use of her ends.

It’s pretty easy to see which side is committing the real crime.

Related posts