Claudia applied for a job as a seamstress at Spectra, but when she was unable to prove she had a green card, Macy turned her down. Claudia appealed to Thorne, only to be informed by Macy that Thorne had no say in the matter. Claudia later overheard Thorne defending her, so she showed up at Forrester with a fake green card. Thorne took pity on her and gave her a job. She went to the charity ball that night to thank Thorne for his kindness and, when mistaken for a waitress by Sally, lost her tongue with her.
In the Forrester sewing room, Claudia stood up for a co-worker who accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee and engaged Thorne's assistance, prompting Thorne to warn his managers to keep an eye out for INS. While working on a gown in Ridge's office late one night, Claudia was surprised by Ridge who was initially angry that she had used the wrong lace on a dress, then intrigued when he learned she had made the lace herself. Claudia could not stop fantasizing about Thorne, and finally confessed that the reason she and her family were there was because her father had been a high-ranking official in their country and when there was a coup, she, her mother and brother had fled, not even knowing if her father was dead or alive. When the INS made a surprise raid on Forrester, Claudia, the only illegal on staff, managed to elude them. Claudia realized that her being at Forrester was causing problems between Thorne and Macy. She hoped that it meant she and Thorne would have a future together.
She was shocked to encounter Enrique Alvarez, who also worked at Forrester. As children, she and Enrique had been very close, but when the coup took place, it was Enrique's family who took over. Enrique had been out of the country at the time, but Claudia insisted on blaming him for his family's actions and her father's possible death.
When Macy walked in on Claudia giving Thorne a massage to cure a headache, Macy confronted her and warned her that she had better stay away from Thorne. When Claudia didn't comply immediately, Macy gave her an ultimatum to either go home or get deported. Macy eventually reported Claudia to the INS. Claudia was taken into custody and briefly released pending her trial. Although her family tried to convince her they needed to run, Claudia was certain that she would be fine and Thorne would help her through. When he called her home suggesting that by marrying an American citizen she could not possibly be deported, Claudia told her family she would be marrying Thorne. When Claudia arrived at the courthouse and learned that the man Thorne had in mind for her husband was Enrique, she turned him down and decided she would rather take her chances with the judge.
Claudia was shocked when Stephanie approached the judge at her hearing and offered to take responsibility for her. Stephanie moved her into the mansion, where Claudia insisted on taking over Maggie's role of housekeeper. It was just a matter of time before Stephanie decided to use Claudia to keep Thorne out of Taylor and Ridge's relationship. Claudia soon caught on, but she was more than willing to help Stephanie. She went to Thorne's room to seduce him, but although Thorne was willing to go through with it, Claudia put on the brakes because she realized that it was Taylor he was thinking about and not her. Claudia went to see Taylor and begged her to make Thorne understand that there would never be anything between them. Finally accepting that Thorne was in love with Taylor, Claudia made one last visit to see Taylor and to ask her not to lead Thorne on. After that, Claudia faded into the background.