JANUARY 26, 2007
An illegal immigrant is suing a radio station because it abided by U.S. federal law in requiring her to provide a valid Social Security or tax identification number before giving her a prize she won in a contest.
When the Mexican woman, living illegally in Chicago for 15 years, could not provide the proper documents, the station refused to giver her the prize. The woman had won a sports car previously owned by a popular Mexican singer and federal law requires the station to report the Social Security number of everyone who wins a prize worth more than $500.
Now the illegal alien, Maribel Nava Alvarez, is actually suing the Chicago Spanish-language station, WLEY, for breach of contract and emotional distress even though she is the one who for years has violated U.S. immigration law. Her attorney says that the station never informed his client that she had to be a legal U.S. resident to be eligible for the prize and that there wasn’t even any “fine print” requiring it.
The station is owned by the largest Hispanic radio broadcasting company in the United States, Miami Florida-based Spanish Broadcasting System. The company owns stations in the nation’s top Hispanic markets, including Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New York and San Francisco and is considered a champion for Hispanic rights and the legalization of working immigrants.
Never the less, the company operates in the United States and must abide by the country’s federal laws. One Chicago newspaper editorial sums up the irony of this woman seeking legal rights in a country whose laws she has violated for most of her life. It reads, in part: For Alvarez to claim a breach of contract when she was unable to provide the legally required Social Security or tax ID number, let alone proof of legal residence, is to seek protection under laws of a country to which she has never sworn an oath.
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