Maria Martinez' attempt to land a cafeteria job at a suburban Dallas hospital got her arrested, jailed and deported.
She did use a counterfeit social security on her application to Trinity Medical Center, but her relatives and supporters wonder whether the hospital overreacted by calling the police.
During yet another year marked by several high profile immigration raids targeting both undocumented workers and the companies who hire them, the Martinez case raises questions about what employers can or should do if they discover an applicant is not authorized to work legally in the U.S.
Hospital chided for reporting illegal applicant
Martinez, a single mother of a 3-year-old son and a teenage daughter, acknowledged buying the social security card for $110 at a Wal-Mart., according to police records. She also had a second social security card and two counterfeit cards stating she was a legal permanent resident.
She had planned to fight the state charge, but after being held in jail for nearly three weeks, she agreed to be deported to Mexico. Her son joined her there.
"She told me to please forgive her," said Martinez' 19-year-old daughter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she also is in the U.S. illegally. "She told me she wasn't strong enough to fight."
Assuming the identity of someone else would justify calling the police. But maybe that's just me being a racist, nativist, insensitive person. If you or I did it, we'd be thrown in jail for ruining someone else's life forever. Deportation may actually be too lenient an option.