Whitman nanny not getting deported anytime soon

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO – Nicky Diaz Santillan has been outed across the nation as an illegal immigrant who used fake ID to gain employment with California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.  But immigration law experts say authorities are unlikely to move in to deport or prosecute Whitman’s former housekeeper any time soon. Diaz Santillan, they say, is probably safe – for now.  “I think that everyone is almost frozen in time now,” said Kevin R. Johnson, an immigration law professor and dean of the University of California, Davis School of Law.  Johnson said Diaz Santillan does expose herself to deportation by publicly offering her story and admitting she was undocumented when she went to work for Whitman, a Republican, in 2000.  But Johnson said it would be politically difficult for federal officials to seize Diaz Santillan now.  “It would look like they are going after a whistle-blower, and just five weeks before the election,” he said. “Imagine the backlash.”  Other illegal immigrants who have gone public for various reasons have eventually ended up deported, Johnson said, including a woman who lived in a church for months to avoid authorities.  But others have been left alone, including some undocumented students who have lived here since childhood.  If Diaz Santillan also goes ahead with her plan to file a legal complaint against Whitman for alleged wage abuse, then the housekeeper could get a reprieve while that legal action is pending, said Bill Hing, another immigration expert and professor at the University of San Francisco.


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