Arizona Detective Learns She's Undocumented, Resigns

Arizona Detective Learns She's Undocumented, Resigns

"A detective for Arizona's state police force has resigned amid the discovery that she was living in the country illegally since being brought to the United States from Mexico by her family at a young age, the agency said on Wednesday.  The former detective, Carmen Figueroa, apparently was told by her family that she was born in America, though she was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves.  Figueroa's status was discovered when the State Department processed a passport application submitted by her brother, who is serving in the military, Graves said.  Figueroa, 42, resigned on Monday but would have been fired if she hadn't stepped down, Graves said.  A criminal investigation continues, he said.  Arizona law requires sworn police officers to be U.S. 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." - AP, Dec. 11, 2013.