CVS Pharmacy apologized Sunday after one of its IN stores rejected a student's Puerto Rican ID as a valid form of identification and prevented him from buying cold medicine. "I thought normal over-the-counter medicine would take care of it, so I went to CVS".
"My ID is a Puerto Rican drivers license, and it is a Real ID, too", he said.
He handed it to the clerk. "That's when I tell her that was a US-issued license, and I didn't need anything else but that license".
"A Puerto Rican license is a USA -issued license", he said.
Guzmán Payano said he tried explaining that Puerto Rico is part of the USA, but the clerk demanded to see a visa to verify his immigration status before he could purchase his cold medicine. But I can't use my ID from Puerto Rico? "It's a United States territory".
According to the junior engineering student, "She said she needed a US-issued ID, Canada or Mexico license".
"And then when she asked me for a visa, I was in shock at that time", he said.
The family filed a complaint with CVS on October 25 but the matter wasn't addressed by the pharmacy until Sunday when news outlets began reporting on the encounter. "We are fully investigating this matter to learn more about what occurred and we are seeking to speak with the customer directly", the statement read.
"Needless to say my son, or any other consumer, is not obligated to disclose his immigration status to any CVS employee!"
CVS issued an apology and "promised to reinforce policy procedures with employees", as they do accept Puerto Rican driver's licenses.
However, Payano said what happened to him speaks to larger issues that Puerto Ricans face every day.
Mr. Guzmán-Payano allegedly attempted to explain to the employees and a manager that Puerto Ricans were USA citizens, but was denied.