Puerto Rican student says CVS worker hassled him over immigration status

Jose Guzman Payano

Jose Guzman Payano

Jose Payano says a cashier at a CVS in IN refused to accept his Puerto Rican ID when he tried to purchase cold medicine. Naturally, he went to the local pharmacy to purchase some over-the-counter medicine.

An engineering pupil in IN stated he was blocked from shopping for over-the-counter chilly medication together with his Puerto Rico driver's license by a CVS worker who grilled him about his immigration standing.

When the third-year engineering student attempted to buy Mucinex at a self-checkout, a clerk was summoned to verify his ID, as customers need to be 18 years or older to purchase cold meds.

"I was feeling a little sick".

"My ID is a Puerto Rican driver's license, and it is a Real ID, too", he said. However, despite being 20 years old, the cashier at the West Lafayette, Ind. store still denied his identification, saying he needed a USA -issued ID.

"I feel like there's a huge lack of education in terms of Puerto Rican history and how and why are we a part of the United States so I feel like that plays into a bigger picture", said Payano.

"A Puerto Rican license is a US -issued license", he said.

Payano said he carries his passport because of how often his ID is questioned, but he said the clerk wouldn't accept that either.

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However the expertise upset Payano a lot that he left the pharmacy "with tears" in his eyes, he informed WRTV. It was after Payano showed an employee his Puerto Rico issued I.D. when the problems arose.

After eight days of not hearing from anyone with CVS, a company spokeswoman issued a statement Saturday after reporters reached out.

"We are committed to ensuring that every customer receives courteous, outstanding service in our stores, and we apologize to the customer for his recent experience", Thibault said.

Puerto Rico has been a United States territory since 1898 but Payano said the employee didn't seem to understand.

CVS did not respond to Guzman's complaint directly, but did issue a statement that read, in part, "We are fully investigating this matter..."

For the student, the encounter wasn't just a reminder that many people in the country don't know or refuse to accept that Puerto Ricans are US citizens but it was also a glimpse at the lack of access undocumented individuals have to basic and necessary over-the-counter medicine. "It says Puerto Rico on the top of it and she kind of gazed at it and then she looked at me and she said, I need a US issued Canada or Mexico license".

Payano's mother shared her son's trip in a prolonged put up on Fb, pronouncing he had no duty to assemble his passport after his Puerto Rican license modified into erroneously rejected.

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