Jan 6, 2014
Carmen Figueroa, a detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, has lost her job and is facing deportation.
Figueroa, who is 42, knows no other country than the U.S. Her parents, who were immigrants, told her that she was born in the U.S. But immigration authorities say her birth certificate is false, and they are threatening Figueroa with deportation.
Figueroa’s trouble began when her brother, who is in the U.S. military, applied for a passport. The U.S. Department of State then went after Figueroa as well. It also notified Figueroa’s bosses. When her bosses told Figueroa she’d get fired, she resigned.
Figueroa and her brother are not alone – there are thousands of people in the same situation. If the person in question can’t produce documentation accepted by the government as “proof of citizenship,” as would be the case for millions of Americans, he or she is declared guilty and is threatened with deportation, just like Figueroa.
The U.S. government’s witch hunt on immigrants is based on the legal premise that some of the people living and working in this country should not have the same rights as everyone else. But if we allow the government to deny one part of population its rights, no part of the population can count on those rights either.