Detective resigns over resident status

Published: Friday | December 13, 2013 Comments 0
This undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows Arizona's state police agency detective, Carmen Figueroa.
This undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows Arizona's state police agency detective, Carmen Figueroa.

PHOENIX, United States (AP):

A detective for Arizona's state police force has resigned following the discovery that she was living in the country illegally after being brought to the US from Mexico by her family at a young age.

Carmen Figueroa apparently was told by her family that she was born in the US though she was actually born in Sinaloa, Mexico, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said Wednesday.

He said Figueroa's status was discovered when the State Department processed a passport application submitted by her brother, who is serving in the US military.

Figueroa, 42, resigned Monday but would have been fired if she hadn't stepped down, according to Graves, who said a criminal investigation continues.

Arizona law requires sworn police officers to be US citizens, and Graves said the state police agency would have terminated her for fraud and misrepresentation for "not meeting the qualifications".

Figueroa worked in southern Arizona and was with the department for 10 years, most of that time as a Tucson-based highway patrol officer. She became a criminal investigations detective in 2010.

"She told us she was always under the impression through her mother that she was born in this country, and 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 Associated Press.

 

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