An officer serving with the Arizona Department of Public Safety for nearly 13 years resigned Monday following the
discovery that she was living in the United States illegally, News 4 Tucson is reporting.
From News 4 Tucson:
The News 4 Tucson Investigators discovered that officer, Carmen Figueroa, has actually been working for DPS for about 13 years, possibly by using a fake or forged birth certificate.
One of Figueroa’s past duties was Public Information Officer or spokesperson for the department.
“We believe the affidavit and information she gave us at the time,” Bart Graves, a DPS spokesman, told News 4. “And, she was under the impression that she herself was an American citizen.”
The discovery happened during a background investigation into Figueroa’s brother, who was reportedly applying for a U.S. visa. Immigration and Customs Enforcement learned the two were related and that she worked for DPS, according to ABC 15.
Officials believe the siblings were told by their mother that they had been born in the U.S. It wasn’t until the State Department investigation began that Figueroa learned she was actually born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and wasn’t a legal resident, Graves said.
Figueroa produced what seemed to be legitimate documents — including a Social Security card, birth certificate and high school diploma — when DPS hired her in 2003, Graves said. While at DPS, Figueroa was promoted to detective and worked as the DPS spokesperson in Tucson for several years.
Figueroa resigned on Monday and has been under investigation by both the State Department and DPS since late August, a DPS spokesman told ABC 15.
It was not clear whether criminal charges would be filed.
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