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An Arizona Border Patrol Agent Spent 6 Years Arresting Immigrants While Being Undocumented Himself

A former U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona was sentenced this past month to one year of probation and fined $1,000 for lying about being a U.S. citizen. Marco A. De La Garza, 38, spent almost six years as a Border Patrol agent on America’s southern border in Arizona. Officials found out De La Garza is a Mexican citizen during a background check in 2016 and when he applied for a U.S. passport in 2017.

As well as being a Border Patrol agent, De La Garza served five years in the U.S. Navy.

De La Garza was born in Mexico and lived with his mother in Mexico until 1999, when he was 19 years old. In 2003, De la Garza enlisted in the Navy and maintained an “exemplary service record” until he was honorably discharged in 2008

Despite not being a legal U.S. citizen, he had worked for CBP since 2012. This was all made possible by a Texas birth certificate from 1980 that was based off fraudulent information, according to The New York Times. De La Garza claimed he was born in Brownsville, Texas instead of his real birthplace of Matamoros, the Mexican city across the international border from Brownsville.

It was until he was 17 years old that De La Garza discovered that he wasn’t an American citizen. When he got the news he refused to believe it because he thought his parents were just trying to discourage him. Despite the birth certificate not being legitimate, De La Garza used it to claim American citizenship.

“Growing up, my parents told me that I was a U.S. citizen, and my whole childhood I was led to believe this was true,” in a letter he wrote to Judge Raner C. Collins. “Because of that, I grew up thinking I would do my duty one day and join the U.S. military.”

De La Garza agreed to plead guilty on one count of passport fraud, and the other two counts were dropped. In pleading guilty, De La Garza admitted that he lied in 2017 on his passport application. Due to his lack of any criminal history, he was sentenced to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine.

While De La Garza’s story is unusual it’s not the first time it has happened.

According to the NY Times, there have been three other instances of undocumented people working as Customs officers or Border Patrol agents who were prosecuted in federal court in recent years. The issue usually occurs when the government considers adding a large number of officers at the border.

The Trump administration has made it an initiative to have employers stop hiring illegal workers by utilizing more electronic verification tools and document checks. There has also been an uptick in the number of workplace raids being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since President Trump has taken office.

De La Garza’s story is indicative of the sometimes unknown work status of many industries in the U.S. where the labor of immigrants is considered crucial.

In a letter to Judge Collins, De La Garza said he was sorry for the incident and accepted responsibility for his actions.

“I should have pushed my parents more for information instead of dismissing it,” De La Garza wrote. “I realize how bad it could have been and how lucky I was to never have been blackmailed or taken advantage of, and for this, I am truly very sorry.”

At this time it’s still unclear if De La Garza will be allowed to remain in the U.S as he faces the possibility of being deported. His lawyer, Matthew H. Green, told the NY Times that he had been told that ICE officials have decided against removal proceeding at this time.

De La Garza plans to eventually legalize his immigration status and apply for citizenship one year after the date of his criminal conviction is finished. In his letter to the Judge, De La Garza asked for one final thing from the United States, a second chance.

READ: Advocacy Groups Suing ICE For Mass Raid In Tennessee, Claiming They Violated Workers’ Constitutional Rights

This White Woman Threatened To Call ICE On Taco Truck Employees So Now She's Taco Truck Tammy

Things That Matter

This White Woman Threatened To Call ICE On Taco Truck Employees So Now She’s Taco Truck Tammy

Months before President Donald Trump won the election, one of his supporters — a Latino man — denounced his people on national television all in the name of taco trucks.

Marco Gutierrez, said on TV, “My culture is a very dominant culture, and it’s imposing, and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

That statement had people on social media in an uproar of happiness at the thought of taco trucks on every corner. While taco trucks are beloved by mostly all decent people, it seems that love expanded more after his ridiculous comment.

However, there is at least one person that still isn’t feeling the taco truck love.

A woman in Dallas threatened to call ICE on two of the employees of a taco truck.

YouTube

The video was posted on YouTube by Claudia Lopez on April 4 and has more than 28,000 views. It’s also been shared all over social media. Lopez is one of the employees of the taco truck.

It appears the unnamed white woman in the video was upset that the taco truck was parked or on her street. She told them to leave and began recording them with her phone.

Another female taco truck employee can be heard in the background saying in Spanish “look at this crazy lady, and she is filming us too.” The woman also said in Spanish that they had a permit to be there, but the white woman was not having it.

Lopez tells the white woman “go back inside.” That’s when the white woman said she’d call ICE.

“Okay, baby girl. Vámonos,” the woman said to Lopez. “I’ll call ICE.”

“Call ICE” Lopez replied.

We have no idea how this issue was resolved but they did end up leaving the area.

Like all infamous social media people, the woman now has the nickname Taco Truck Tammy.

Credit: @Dany_xoo / Twitter

Like a true democracy, Twitter came together and voted on the woman’s new name. No Electoral College here. The popular vote was the winner and her new name was determined to be Taco Truck Tammy and a trending topic was born on Twitter.

Everyone was clearly upset with her treatment of the employees but also distracted by her shirt.

Credit: @TheMissGreen / Twitter

Yeah. Taco Truck Tammy came out to record two taco truck employees and harass them to move. However, she was unable to put her shirt right side out so, obviously, that’s what everyone was discussing.

It was truly a sure way to deflate her wannabe flex.

Pobrecita. She was trying to act tough but those tags blowing in the wind were just too much for audiences to ignore. How can you flex on people when you can’t dress yourself right?

One person did suspect that the anger came from her own inability to eat the food they were serving up.

Nothing is worse than feeling left out. If you can’t participate in something, it is common for people to get upset. Perhaps this was what was going through Taco Truck Tammy’s mind.

However, the biggest thing we should be focusing on is Taco Truck Tammy becoming yet another white person threatening Latinos with ICE.

These people don’t know if the people they are dealing with are undocumented or not. The very people threatening to call ICE do so because it makes them feel better than us. The threat of calling ICE on people speaking Spanish is a racist act linked directly to the person’s language and appearance. It is used to cause fear not as a viable threat. It is a dogwhistle many white supremacists are learning to implement in their anger at the Latino community.

Watch the entire exchange below.

READ: Felony Hate Crime Charges Have Been Filed Against The Man Who Harassed A Woman For Wearing A Puerto Rico Flag Shirt

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