This is a rather sad story of one woman whose life has drastically changed because she was brought here as a child and told she was a citizen. That is - if you believe her story.
Detective Carmen Figueroa, a 13 year veteran with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (the state police), was forced to resign from her position last week when it was discovered she was not a legal immigrant to this country.
Now before anyone cheer and demand she be deported, it was believed, both by Figueroa and her superiors at ADPS, that she was born in this country. Figueroa says she was always told by her mother that she was born here. She apparently presented a fake or forged birth certificate when she was hired. The truth was discovered after her brother, a member of the U.S. military, filed paperwork to get a passport and the State department discovered he had a sister who was an Arizona state police officer.
The ADPS says they believed in Detective Figueroa when she applied and they believe her now, that she was told as a child she was born here in the U.S.A.
"We believe the affidavit and information she gave us at the time. And, she was under the impression that she herself was an American citizen," Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves told reporters.
"She did not really find out until this summer ... that she was an illegal alien through, I believe, a confrontation with her mother," Graves told the AP.
It certainly is possible. Why would a child doubt what her parents told her? She is said to have an exemplary record, becoming a detective after 10 years as a patrol officer.
Figueroa resigned last Monday in lieu of being fired. Arizona state law requires all sworn officers to be U.S. citizens.
It is up to each individual to decide for themselves whether they believe Figueroa's story. If her department believes her, that's good enough for me. She
According to the article it is unclear if she currently faces any legal action and she could not be reached for comment. I certainly can't blame her.