An Arizona law enforcement worker with an “exemplary” record of more than a decade was forced to resign this week after she found out she is not a U.S. citizen.
Carmen Figueroa, an officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, was discovered to be an illegal immigrant after federal authorities investigated her brother who applied for a visa, according to KVOA-TV. The Associated Press reported that her brother, a member of the U.S. military, was actually applying for a passport.
Figueroa, who had worked for the department for about 13 years, resigned Monday after the investigation’s findings, but according to the report, she seems to have believed she was always an American citizen.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said Figueroa had been told by her family she was born in the U.S., but was actually born in Sinaloa, Mexico and brought to America at a young age, the AP reported.
“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 AP.
Even though Graves said Figueroa “had an exemplary record,” if she hadn’t resigned, he said she would have been fired for ”not meeting the qualifications” due to misrepresenting her citizenship.
Watch KVOA-TV’s report about the case:
The AP reported that Figueroa had submitted a Texas birth certificate and a California driver’s license and high school diploma in applying for her job with DPS. She has been under federal investigation since August.
Figueroa previously held other public posts with the Bureau of Prisons and the Pima County court system, according to the AP.
(H/T: Daily Mail)