Mirna Valenzuela went to an Arizona casino, hit a $1200 jackpot and then got deported.
Mirna Valenzuela took a trip to Tucson, Arizona’s Casino del Sol Resort with her daughter Zamira Osorio, and hit a $1200 jackpot win. But the lucky win turned unlucky very quickly when events led to Valenzuela’s deportation to Mexico. Federal law requires that winners of $1200 or more show identification for tax purposes. When Valenzuela presented her ID, casino officials suspected it was fraudulent, and called the tribal Pascua Yaqui police. After investigating they determined that the ID was valid, but that Valenzuela and her daughter were undocumented immigrants from Mexico. The mother and daughter were turned over to U.S. Border Patrol and arrested. Valenzuela was deported and Osorio was released under the DREAM act. Casino CEO, Wendell Long said, “We’re not here to deport people,” and that this is the first time since the casino’s 2001 opening that an incident of this type has occurred. Regardless, Zamira Osorio said that her family felt discriminated against and that Casino del Sol Resort should put up a sign that they don’t want illegal immigrants playing at their casino. While the situation is sad, Valenzuela is doing all right and her winnings are still at the casino, where she’ll have to claim them in person with a valid id.
Presumably, Valenzuela’s daughter is still in the U.S. because she was protected by Deferred Action.
Casino officials say their property is on a Native American land and they don’t enforce immigration laws.
“We strongly embrace our Hispanic visitors as well as all of our visitors and want to make sure they feel safe and welcome in our property,” Wendell Long, a Casino del Sol representative told Arizona’s 12 News.