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California Waiter Fired for Asking Latina Women For ‘Proof of Residency’


Urban Dining Guide

A hateful waiter from California has been fired after he asked diners for “proof of residency.”

Brenda Carrillo was shocked when the waitress at Saint Marc, an upscale restaurant in Huntington Beach, asked her for her papers.

“Can I see your proof of residency?” the waiter asked.

“I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you,” the waiter repeated.

Carrillo and her guest were left speechless.

“It was kind of hard to process because we’ve never experienced this,” said Carrillo.

Shortly after the initial confrontation, Carrillo’s sister, Diana, and another friend joined them. The waiter returned and asked the same question.

The group thought it was a joke at first, but realized he was serious because “he didn’t have a smile.”

“There was no indication that he was trying to make a joke or even possibly flirt with us,” said Carrillo.

Diana said the entire incident left her feeling shaken.

“I’ve never felt so judged in my life…It sends a chill through your entire body,” she said.

Diana later posted her encounter on Facebook and Yelp. Hours later, she had received lots of support and dozens of negative reviews had been left on Yelp.

Thanks to Diana’s Facebook post, restaurant management reached out to her and apologized for the waiter’s behavior. They informed her that the waiter had been fired and that “this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Kent Bearden, senior director of operations for Saint Marc, said this is the first time he has heard of this and said the water was “not a new hire.”

Diana said her mother completely lost it when she told her what had happened.

“I was angry. I was sad,” Guillermina Carrillo said by phone Saturday. “It’s unacceptable. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened, not anywhere, not to nobody.”

Carrillo, 52, came to the United States from Mexico more than 30 years ago. She has been a citizen for two decades, working two jobs and raising her four daughters alone. Between her two jobs, she works 12 hours a day, six days a week.

“I raised my kids and taught them how to work, how to be a good person, I’ve been working hard all these years,” she said, as she struggled to hold back the tears.

Brenda said she isn’t worried about what happens to her and Diana because they were raised in California, but she fears what would happen to others with less confidence and knowledge of how the system works.

“I’m more afraid for others in my community, people who are immigrants. If this were to happen to them, I’m sure they would be too afraid to speak out for themselves,” Brenda said.

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