Identification Mix-Up at Gio’s Leads to Confusion and Outrage

Gwendolyn Wu and Shomik Mukherjee
Executive Content Editor and Executive Managing Editor

At 9 p.m. last Saturday night, the usual Isla Vistan activities were in full swing. Students crowded into popular bars and restaurants in town, clamoring for pitchers at local favorites like Giovanni’s Pizza on Pardall Rd.

When one group of friends set foot in a crowded Gio’s that night, they intended to get beer. One student, Oscar Zarate, says he showed his Mexican government-issued identification and was turned down. Another, Stephanie Periban, said she was rejected after showing her employment authorization document. The group further claimed they were harassed by fellow patrons and later removed from the restaurant by Gio’s employees.

Rosemary Moll, the manager who dealt with the group, said Monday that she was unfamiliar with the IDs and wanted to protect the restaurant’s liquor license, denying any racial motivations.

“She saw it and she was like, ‘you know, you really need a passport with this,’” Zarate, a fourth year political science major, told The Bottom Line on Sunday. He had shown his Mexican ID that night.

“She wanted extra documentation,” Zarate said. “From the beginning, she really was not into the Mexican ID. She was not going to accept it.” Zarate finally got a cup for beer when he showed an expired California ID.

Periban, a fourth year sociology major, then tried to get her own cup of beer with her EAD card, but was turned down. EAD cards are provided to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama administration immigration policy that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors to receive work permits.

Briana Bui, a fourth year global studies and environmental studies double major who was with Zarate and Periban that night, recounted what she had witnessed to The Bottom Line.

“Five minutes later, my German boyfriend arrived and offered his German driver’s license which…

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