Puerto Rican Humberto Marchand, eager to hit the road on his preplanned trip, faced an unexpected hurdle at a Hertz counter in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite being a U.S. territory, the Hertz employee seemingly classified Puerto Rico as a foreign country, and asked Marchand for his passport upon seeing his Puerto Rican driver's license.
The situation escalated when the Hertz manager phoned the police. Marchand had hoped that the responding officer would clarify the validity of his identification. Instead, he was asked to leave the premises. Adding insult to injury, Marchand alleges he overheard the officer suggest calling border authorities.
The Kenner Police Department, in response to the incident, stated that their officer was on-site solely due to the reported disturbance and emphasized that the officer made no mention of Border Patrol, ICE, or Immigration.
Hertz has since apologized to Marchand and refunded his payment. It said in a statement:
"Hertz accepts Puerto Rican driver's licenses from our customers renting in the U.S. without requiring a valid passport. We sincerely regret that our policy was not followed and have apologized to Mr. Marchand and refunded his rental. We are reinforcing our policies with employees to ensure that they are understood and followed consistently across our locations."