Student Denied Over-the-Counter Medicine

December 18, 2019

Recently, a student in Indiana was not permitted to purchase over-the-counter cold medicine. It is not that he was not of a certain age, the reason given was that he did not have the correct immigration status. The student, who is in fact an American citizen, showed a Puerto Rican driver’s license when he was asked for identification.

The pharmacy where he was denied the ability to purchase the medicine is part of a larger national chain of pharmacies and the employee merely stated that he needed to show either an identification card from the United States, Mexico, or Canada to purchase the medicine. He then showed his American passport, but the pharmacy employee stated that he needed to show a visa. The employee denied him the medicine and said that he had to show a visa to prove his immigration status. This situation highlights how many people in the United States are unaware of immigration guidelines and what territories are part of the United States.

Puerto Ricans are United States Citizens

Anyone born in Puerto Rico after 1940 is a United States citizen. A valid, unexpired U.S. passport is sufficient identification to prove American citizenship. There is no need for a visa to show citizenship since a visa is normally provided to those who are not in their home country to demonstrate that they are legally permitted to visit or reside in another country for a certain period of time and under certain circumstances.

In this circumstance, the student’s Puerto Rican driver’s license was sufficient proof for identification, since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. A Puerto Rican identification card is the same as any other U.S. state identification card to show age and other residency information if it is not expired.

Since immigration issues have been rising in the news, it is important to understand what is fact and what is fiction regarding who is a citizen, what it means to legally reside in the United States, and who is at risk for removal from the United States. Puerto Ricans, especially those residing in areas where there are not many Hispanic residents, can face confusing assumptions about their immigration status.

It is important to note that the way a person a looks, speaks, or acts does not have a bearing on their immigration status and many people of color may face similar situations of unjust discrimination like the student in Indiana.

Vineland Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Provide Guidance and Legal Assistance in All Types of Immigration Matters

If you or someone you know has an immigration concern, contact the Vineland immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC We can provide the advice you need regarding the next best steps. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. Call us at 215-496-0690 or contact us online for a free consultation.