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Arizona DPS Detective Resigns After Discovering Illegal Immigrant Status

December 12, 2013  | 

Det. Carmen Figueroa (Photo: Arizona DPS)
Det. Carmen Figueroa (Photo: Arizona DPS)

A detective for the Arizona state police resigned this week after it was revealed she isn't a U.S. citizen and had — perhaps unknowingly — misrepresented where she was born on application documents, officials said Wednesday.

Former detective Carmen Figueroa — who worked 13 years for the Arizona Department of Public Safety and once served as the state police force’s spokeswoman — had stated in a required written affidavit when hired that she is a U.S. citizen. She later told investigators her family told her she was born in the United States.

Instead, it turned out that she was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and came to the U.S. as a young child and was living in the country illegally, NBC News reports.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

John Carp @ 12/12/2013 3:56 PM

A military adadge goes "You dont know what you dont know".
If she truly didn't know, place her on admin leave and ask CBP to ruch her paperwork through!
If she has thirteen years of meritorious service, does it really matter?
She's one of us.
Just say'in!

BW @ 12/12/2013 4:31 PM

I would hope that, somewhere, sometime, somebody actually had her birth certificate in hand to physically verify her citizenship. Please don't tell me they just took her word for it! Trust but verify! If they didn't verify, it's in them. But if she presented a false document, well....

Sgt. Mike @ 12/12/2013 5:19 PM

If she knew, then...whatever. However if she did not know, give her unpaid leave to fix it, and if she wants back on the jab after, let her IMO.

If she didn't know, imagine the shock when she found!

murgy01 @ 12/12/2013 6:03 PM

Sounds fishy to me. Didn't they require a certified copy of her birth certificate when she was hired. How come it took them 13 years to discover that? She was an ex spokesperson for the dept and a detective, she must have been a pretty outstanding officer. It a shame she had to resign. If you join the military as an illegal you get citizenship . The same should happen for her....I could be wrong...just a thought ..

Officer Morrison @ 12/12/2013 7:44 PM

I feel sorry for her working hard all your life to lose everything because your family lied

EB @ 12/12/2013 8:59 PM

I'm looking for a good experienced detective right now, move to Texas we can help make you legal and bring you aboard. This is a joke and insult, if as is written.

Serpico @ 12/12/2013 9:55 PM

You have to have your Birth Certificate, for a Marriage, and other legal reasons in the Country. And supposedly she just found out now? This nation is suffering from Idocracy! Nice to know LEO's give her a break. But this INVALADATES any ENFORCEMANT she made during her TOUR! Carmen worked PUBLIC SAFTEY! So what does that make PARKING TICKETS or SPEEKING TICKETS she issued to US Citizens? I guess some COPs care more about people "In Blue Inform" than the Safety and Wellbeing of the USA! I'm sick and tired of this PC BS NWO Liberals. In WWII if the Germans invaded the USA, and forced people to speak German do you think they'd like it? No they wouldn't the same with Illegal Aliens from South America, Central America and Mexico! Her family should be ARRESTED and THROWN IN JAIL! For FAKING DOCCUMENTS! And screwing US Citizens! How come there are NO TEARS FOR THE REST OF US? I guess some people in LE, are like Orewell's Animal Farm, Some Animals have more rights than others...

GAPP @ 12/12/2013 10:16 PM

Certified supporting documents with each application and checks on those documents to see if they are real. I hope Arizona DPS and other LEO organisations have reviewed their hiring procedures to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Hill @ 12/12/2013 10:26 PM

What kind of stupid background check and illegal identification did this person have which allowed her to be hired in law enforcement? Birth certificate? Hello? National Security....riiiight.
Oh, but they will strip you naked if they want so you can travel a domestic flight. The security of this country scares me.

Greg @ 12/13/2013 4:22 AM

California just allowed an illegal alien to pass the bar and practice law...even though he's a criminal...of course, that's Kalifornia.

I'm sorry, she knew she was illegal. But background checks are pathetic. I knew a Federal uniformed officer, TS clearance and worked at a TS facility. They did a perp walk while he was in class down in Glenco for training. Turned out he'd been convicted of rape and didn't show up for sentencing. How did he hide? He used his mother's maiden name. pretty impressive background check going on.

GPcop @ 12/13/2013 5:05 AM

If Carmen did not know she was here illegally then she needs to be given US citizenship ASAP. She served 13 years faithfully, and that should count for something. The military is allowing service, and pathway to citizenship. I'm guessing Az DPS will make her re-apply once she has obtained citizenship.

If she knew she was illegally here, go away, and hopefully Az DPS will charge her for Falsifaction of State documents, when she signed the application she was swearing the information was true and correct. I'm sure there were many other documents signed by her as well.

Lt Dan @ 12/13/2013 6:11 AM

If she submitted a fake school transcript, All would agree "Show her the door". If she lied on a resume claiming experience she didn't have, All would agree "Show her the door". If she lied while giving testimony during a case, All would agree "Show her the door".
Perhaps it was a closely held dirty little family secret, but it is highly unlikely she didn't know. SHOW HER THE DOOR.
AS an individual, she may be OUTSTANDING. But even if she were to get US Status, her courtroom testimony would be inadmissable rendering her ineffective in this job. I offer prayers for her future and blessing and comfort upon her family.........When and until she finds her next career.

TX lawman @ 12/13/2013 6:20 AM

I'll have to go with GPcop on this one. Someone had to provide false documents to get her hired. Either her parents or her. We require an original SS Card and an original or certified copy of your birth certificate here to be hired. While I was working in personnel, I discovered one of our officers working under a fake name. She had thought she had been legally adopted but she hadn't. She was allowed to take care of the legal mess and remained with us. we had another that was discovered to have multiple names after she had worked here 5 years. She was terminated and filed on.

Arby @ 12/13/2013 7:00 AM

Immigration is an enormous emotional and security issue. In this specific case, if she knew - goodbye - period. If she truly didn't - admin leave - get it fixed and carry on. Either way, DPS must handle the legal issues caused by whatever cases and testimony she's made in her career.

Conservative folks on the immigration issue at large are labelled "anti-immigrant." It may apply to some, but I believe most are more correctly labelled "anti-ILLEGAL immigrant." Yes, we need immigration reform. Streamline the process to come in, stay legally and become citizens. It can be done w/o sacrificing security. Improved efficiency should decrease (not end), illegal entry. Improved border security will decrease it even more. Then 1st time caught illegal, deport - quickly. 2nd time (or even 1st time if other criminal charges exist ), jail time here - then deport. Blanket amnesty to everyone already here is security stupidity and a slap in the face to the millions who did it right.

Capt. Crunch @ 12/13/2013 12:16 PM

You can't blame her for what her parents did. She was a LEO for 13 years, she is on the right side of the law, give her a chance to become legal and give her the job back. Arizona Public Safety, should do better back ground checks.

Phil @ 12/14/2013 2:54 AM

I agree with Captain Crunch I'm sure before IT got to where it is now and they knew about what was going on they checked everything out and I don't think it would have got this far without them pressing charges or filing against her if they thought in any way shape or form that she was being deceitful I think her parents just figured hey will tell her this when she's a kid she would grow up to believe it and that's it the reason she didn't seem like she was lying to anybody because in her mind she wasn't lying to anybody well that's the thoughts of one retired LEO lol so i hope everybody has a blessed and wonderful holiday season and Please please be safe out there and God bless. Phil

Deputy JJ Golliday @ 12/14/2013 10:45 AM

Another source said it all came to light after her brother (who is currently serving in the US Army) applied for US Citizenship. Her family then admitted to her that she was not a US citizen. She then resigned. I hope she gets it all worked out. 33 yr. LEO

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