Oberly and the others told Torres her name was Brenda Gomez and that she had been born in Mexico.

"They said, 'Your mom forged your birth certificate,'" Torres states. "I kept telling them no, that as far as I know, I'm a U.S. citizen."

See, Torres was sent to live in Mexico when she was 13, where her father referred to her by the name Brenda and apparently registered her under the name Brenda Gomez.

At 15, she had a daughter, who was born in Mexico, and later became a U.S. citizen.

When Torres returned to the United States in 1999, she was stopped at the border and questioned by U.S. immigration officials. She gave them a confused account of her nationality.

Ultimately, Torres' mom came to the border with her birth certificate, and customs admitted her.

Fast-forward to March: With Oberly bearing down on her, it was like 1999 all over again. Oberly even got her to sign a statement that she'd been Mirandized, in the name "Brenda Gomez."

He did this after he already had questioned her.

MCAO spokesman Jerry Cobb told me Torres' charges and detention were "based on her own statements," regarding her nationality. He blamed defense counsel for not filing their motions fast enough.

What about Oberly's statements to the grand jury?

"[T]he true explanation behind the canceled birth certificate/affidavit did not come forth until after [Oberly] testified," Cobb wrote via e-mail, "when the defense offered the correct explanation at [a] later hearing."

It's unclear what prevented Oberly from inspecting the entire Vital Records file before arresting an innocent woman. Could he have seen it and chosen to ignore it?

I called Oberly, but he declined to answer questions. ADOT e-mailed a response stating that the matter was the subject of "an active investigation."

There are a lot of bad players in this travesty, but the bottom line is that they all had access, or could have had access, to Torres' birth certificate, and they could have easily verified that it was legit.

Being confused about your past is not a crime, even if a cop can persuade you to sign something under a different name. Doing so does not invalidate your citizenship.

It's a given that if Torres were an Anglo, she would not have been treated in this manner. She and her lawyers tell me they're considering suing the agencies involved.

As far as blame goes, the wave of nativism that made Prop 100 law bathes all those who voted for and supported this mockery of due process in a sea of shame. History will not treat these Arizonans well.

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414 comments
elizabeth.conley
elizabeth.conley

While my heart goes out to this young woman, it's clear that this happened, at least in part, because she was so meek and mild that she was intimidated into signing a false name to an official document.

I too suffer from excessive meekness, and the consequences of this have been very bad for me and my children.  When my children were younger I let doctors run roughshod over my valid concerns for the children's health.  I let the overbearing doctors convince me my concerns were excessive, and failed to demand a second opinion.   My son became very ill as a result of my cowardice. 

Women who are excessively meek need to toughen up a bit for the sake of ourselves and our children.  I vowed, "Never again!"  Ms Torres needs to do the same.  Life isn't going to get easier.  Authorities aren't going to get gentler or more caring.  If we are to be competent adults and parents, we have to stand up for ourselves and what we KNOW to be true.  Failing to do so is a form of dishonesty that can have dire consequences.

I do sympathize, really I do.  So listen to me:  TOUGHEN UP!

USHEMP
USHEMP

@dianemgoldstein When you start allowing your government to classify those other humans as illegal you just stepped in the same line.

callmemaybe
callmemaybe

This is what happens when you promote discrimination (nigh racism) with unneeded and over-empowering laws.

 

funny how no one seems to want to look at our immigration laws as a whole - they worked fine 40yrs ago, but it's 2012 now. times have changed, and our laws need to adapt. we can't just keep adding addendums

sarum
sarum

Wow.  Just like the USSR and East Berlin, eh?   Anytime you have 6 on 1 that is intimidation.  This is wrong and many fear this nightmare BUT that does not give you the right to characterize the many browns of AZ as redneck knuckle draggers just because they do not share your opinion.  Well obviously you do have the right but it is incendiary journalism that maybe should be against the law. . . . and still, silencing the voices of many brown law abiding hard working born here citizens.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

What you want to bet that Oberly goes to work for the bank that foreclosed on this poor woman's home after he gets fired!

 

minetheborder
minetheborder

See, Torres was sent to live in Mexico when she was 13, where her father referred to her by the name Brenda and apparently registered her under the name Brenda Gomez.

At 15, she had a daughter, who was born in Mexico, and later became a U.S. citizen.

When Torres returned to the United States in 1999, she was stopped at the border and questioned by U.S. immigration officials. She gave them a confused account of her nationality.

 

GO BACK TO MEXICO AND BE HER IF IT GETS TOO CONFUSING HERE IN THE US WHICH ID YOU ARE USING!!!

 

Bordertown
Bordertown

Why does Mexico have even tougher border laws to protect it's southern border?  Why don't Mexicans/Latinos complain about that?  Thanks.

shebeforlorn
shebeforlorn

Overall, politicians and law enforcement failed to serve and protect it's community in this case. Yes, Brisiera and her family are members of the community and are not a threat. The cops had access to real evidence and didn't use it to prove her honesty, which is part of thier job. The cops made up their story, booked her into jail that is reserved for real threats, they ruined her life, careless about her family, and at the same time claiming the benefits of living their lives. These cops can't solve crime, they owe the community their resignation.

TruConserv
TruConserv

For the sake of the literate, here's a nice summation of the actual law surrounding whether illegal aliens are, by definition, criminals. (spoiler alert ... they aren't.)

 

In United States v. Arizona, 641 F.3d 339, 362 (9th Cir. 2011) the Court held that (1) there is no “federal criminal statute making unlawful presence in the United States, alone, a federal crime.”  Such violations, as well as other immigration “status” offenses according to the case, constitute civil violations of federal immigration law. The Arizonacase also makes clear two additional points: (1) “states do not have the inherent authority to enforce the civil provisions of federal immigration law,” and, (2) that “an alien’s admission of illegal presence . . . does not, without more, provide probable cause of the criminal violation of illegal entry.”

 

The above is from the an order for supplemental briefing issued by the district court hearing the present Arpaio case.

 

Anyone who states that all "illegals" are criminals, even if they disingenuously claim that is their opinion, is either a liar or a fool.

serpico1000
serpico1000

it's too bad that news like these dont see very much sun, since there seems to be a stranglehold on news articles like these, and all to hide discriminatory behavior and push the envelope on partisan politics, welcome back to the 19th. century

grendel
grendel

For those of you who dont understand big words,,,Definition of FLOTSAM1: floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo; broadly : floating debris2a : a floating population (as of emigrants or castaways)<human flotsam>b : miscellaneous or unimportant material <a notebook filled with flotsam and jetsam>

 

Why is it we have become the worlds landfill for unwanted, undesirable and basically human garbage? Why do legal immigrants look the other way while rats crawl through this countrys walls? If rural white folk started squatting in homes, using 3 different IDs to get 3 welfare checks, sneak in their retarded cousins from Canada (no offence guys just the other border used to make a point)  and let them use their ID and get a job stocking at Wal-mart it would disgust me and I'd go out of my way to turn them in!! You cant let your own kind walk around being a mobile racial slur and cry racism when people react negatively to you.

grendel
grendel

Torres and Diaz,,sure sound American to me! Perhaps if they didn't let the flotsam come here and have anchor babys we wouldn't have these problems

Fleiger
Fleiger

How did they let her daughter come visit in jail?   If mom's an illegal, then so must the daughter, right?

bobunf
bobunf

The story is about an American citizen illegally arrested and held in jail for 4-1/2 months only because her skin is brown.  How can any American think this is anything but incredibly outrageous?  Hi-jacking the thread to rant about criminal is deceitful and mendacious.  

Wacha
Wacha

More money!, more money! You guys hate Mexicans so much, but check it out she's probably taking sheriff's dept to court, & she'll probably win $$$. If that shit happened to me I'd spit in the cops face instigate him to fight (racist pigs would love to), then take their asses to court. You stupid f**ks like to pick on Mexicans? all you "patriots" like to disguise your racisim with patriotism, fuc* you! Pinches culeros! You all burning in hell with Hitler!!!

joeharry79
joeharry79

She was born in Avondale- in 1981?  Home birth?

sarum
sarum

 @minetheborder If it is legal to marry at age 13 in Mexico does that mean they consider 13 years old to be adults in all legal matters?

lara1371
lara1371

She never had any say in changing her name or even going to Mexico!! All she could do was do as her parents told her to do. The agencies involved in this matter should be dealt with accordingly and justice needs to be rewarded to the victim for making her spend 4 1/2 months in jail!!!!

dfgdf
dfgdf

 @Bordertown We're not Mexico.  We have greater freedoms than our friends to the South.  We set the bar that other nations aspire to reach, we don't climb down to their level.

 

Why does the T-bag party want us to use Mexico as a model? Why do they want us to become more like them and less like the America we all grew up with?

 

If you think Mexico is a better country, move there.

sarum
sarum

 @shebeforlorn ummmm . . . they need to restore her to the condition she was in prior to their crime - like they need to get her house back for starters.

dfgdf
dfgdf

 @shebeforlorn The question becomes, how many others have they done this too?  It all seems so casual, and the prosecutor is so non-nonchalant about a clear example of perjury and intentional deprivation of civil rights, that something more must be going on.

 

Perhaps the prosecutor is afraid that if he goes after the detective here he will have to go after many, many more rats elsewhere.

 

If the prosecutor had ANY decency, the detective would be in jail already. 

TruC0nserv
TruC0nserv

 @grendel Human garbage?  You mean the kind of human garbage that will work for hours in the scorching heat of Arizona doing back-breaking work no American will do? The kind that pays more into the US treasury than they can ever take out? The kind that subsidizes the welfare that you take, but they do not because they can not?

 

If that's your human garbage then the answer is that we've always been that country.

 

We've always attracted industrious, religious, conservatives such as those coming these days from Mexico - people who just want a chance to work and to contribute.

 

Your whining about immigrants is not backed up by the facts, but then again, when have facts ever affected racist like yourself?

dwykoff
dwykoff

 @grendel My own kind is the Human race. You on the other hand are a closed minded individual who may or may not be intelligent. The underpinning of this article is about someone who is not stealing jobs from people but an American Citizen denied her Rights because she was a suspected illegal. I got news for you all even though they aren't citizens our Constitution gives then the Right to DUE PROCESS. Which this woman was denied.

 

You are using the word you just learned to not seem racist. it is so transparent.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @Fleiger Not in this case.  The daughter was naturalized as a Citizen years back. She is Citizen independent of her mother's "present" status, and would remain a citizen unless and until her citizenship was formally revoked, following due process of law.

 

No revocation was done, nor should it have been.

rodeo3712
rodeo3712

 @Wacha

 FYI tough guy, spitting in anyones face is a felony assault and therefore would give them the legal right to kick your stupid ass, so good luck with that, let us know how it turns out! lol

dbearup
dbearup

 @Wacha I don't know about anyone else on here, or in this state, but I don't hate Mexicans. I just despise criminals. And if you commit a crime to get into this country then you are a criminal. End of story.

But why are you so ticked off about the attitude many on here are voicing, that illegals should be deported for the crime of caring so little for their own country that - rather than stay home and fix their own country's problems - they break international laws governing immigration between nations to come HERE for a better life? If you don't like being here with all us racist gringos, suck a fart and go back to Mexico. Make your own racist country a better place, instead of complaining about the racism you tolerate here because your own country is such a pigsty.

Viva la revolucion!

A**hole.

joeharry79
joeharry79

Anyone born Phoenix hospital, would have a BC that lists "Phoenix" as their city of birth, as that is in fact where they were born born.  To say that a hospital  puts mom's current residence as the place of birth is not just inaccurate, it's idiotic.  The application you refer to is not reporting the birth of the child, it's requesting a certified copy once the birth is recorded.  The form you fill out that declares your child's name and parent info is just part of a bigger packet the hospital puts together to report the birth. 

 

Anyway, I'm not sure how familiar you are with the west valley, but take Wittmann, that crap town you drive through on Grand Ave/US 60W when heading out of Surprise to Wickenburg.  That is what Avondale looked like in the 1980s, so to have it recorded as her official place of birth makes her pretty rare..  Just an observation. 

 

 

dbearup
dbearup

 @joeharry79 The city of Avondale was incorporated in 1946 and is surrounded by other cities, so there are hospitals within a 20 minute drive of any point in the city. The fact that there was no hospital in Avondale in 1981 doesn't necessarily mean Ms. Torres was home-birthed, but even if she was it doesn't invalidate her birth certificate. Even in a hospital birth, the parents fill out the birth certificate application and, where it asks for city of birth, the parents are most likely to put the city they live in rather than the city the hospital is in.

So, yeah, she may have been born in a Phoenix hospital, or she may have been born in a cab on the way to the hospital - the only way of knowing the exact circumstances would be to ask her - but her birth certificate will still say she was born in Avondale.

So what?

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

 @dfgdf It happens A LOT!!!  I have three friends which were imprisoned falsely, one was even convicted on false evidence only to be let out EIGHT YEARS LATER when a friend convinced another attorney file a motion to retest the rape kit with genetics.  Turns out he was innocent and the genetic evidence proved it.  He lost his home, wife, children and is over $50,000.00 in debt because of the support the State paid his wife while he was being falsely imprisoned!!!  Now, the State of Arizona is deducting those support payments from his SSI.  This guy was a VET from the Vietnam war - a jet mechanic.  He had a good job and home and was a productive member of society.  THESE FUCKIN PIGS NEED TO PAY FOR THEIR VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN ARIZONA.  

sarum
sarum

 @TruC0nserv Proof has come out lately that they do collect even though you say they cannot - oh they collect in spades.  Observation can tell you this - if they work jobs nobody else will work for wages nobody else will accept yet still manage to send millions to their nation of origin - how can they do that when citizens cannot even keep a roof over their heads on those wages?  It does not add up - there is much untold here.  Do you have to wait until it is published in the New York Times before you believe what is in your face?

sarum
sarum

 @TruC0nserv Haven't you heard of Chinese Birth Tourism?  Lots of people are doing this.  You know all those ads about how they will buy your timeshare?  Who do you think is buying them up?  When you scatter these birth tourists all around it is much more difficult to realize and then legislate against your colonization.  "

 

None too bright are you?"

dbearup
dbearup

 @rodeo3712  @Wacha Yes, never bring spit to a gun-fight, especially when your opponent is a cop. Because it's not JUST felony assault, it's felony assault on a police officer. They tend to bring their friends in for stuff like that.

wacha
wacha

@dbearup @Wacha It's all about skin color, there's no reason some stupid untrained cop should be arresting a woman or anyone for no reason whatsoever, they had no damn right to. This is why there's immigration police, duh! Is this your answer "go back to Mexico"?, I was born here, she was too, just like you (why don't you go?), since you want me to get racial we're "gringos!" too. I didn't say that, you did. Oh yeah revolution up your ass!

dbearup
dbearup

 @joeharry79 I was 9 and living in Globe in 1981 :) so have no idea what the west valley looked like then. All I can say is, my niece had a baby last year in a Mesa hospital and when she filled out the "birth reporting information packet" or whatever it's called she put her current residential address city as Globe (my mom drove her down for the birth) and the birth certificate says Faith was born in Globe.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @sarum  @TruC0nserv The Bush Administration looked into this - and rejected on principle the conclusion several times - before finally, after the researchers exhaustively said they had done everything they could to find a different result.

 

They do not take more than they pay. Period.

 

As for how they live off the cheap wages - because they are willing to live a standard lower than Americans will, because they are that hard-working, that honor-driven.

 

They live in abject poverty to support the families they love in the hope they can someday become citizens in the country they love.

 

Why would anyone hate these people?

 

When the only proof you have is an admitted absence of proof, then hate is really all you have left.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @rodeo3712 FWIW: No news report in the LEXISNEXIS database references Arpaio speaking Spanish and it is not listed on either his website or his wikipedia entry.  Given how frequently Arpaio is bashed for racism, you'd think he'd reference his language skills. While proving a negative is difficult, this one is clearly busted.

 

Similarly, no reports indicate Arpaio has 60-percent hispanic officer corps.  No report states he has a majority of officers that are hispanic.

 

Rodeo3712 refuses to name his sources, so we can safely call him, too, clearly busted.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @rodeo3712 It's your claim.  It's for you to substantiate.

 

Come on now, troll, support the lies you have given with verifiable fact:

 

1) Apraio is fluent in Spanish

2) 60 percent of his officers are hispanic.

 

Then, explain what the hell either has to do with whether Arpaio is illegally profiling or is a bigot!

rodeo3712
rodeo3712

 @dtyheth  @dbearup

 You are the troll, you have no idea what you're talking about. Arpaio did not make these claims, they are facts. I have personally been present and overheard an extended conversation, in spanish, between Arpaio and one of his deputys. State the source of your information or find someone else to troll.

 

dtyheth
dtyheth

 @rodeo3712  @dbearup The troll dbearup, using the sock puppet rodeo wrote the following:

 

'You believe that the Sheriff and his office are racist but you probably dont know that he speaks spanish fluently and that 60% of his officers are hispanic in origin."

 

He's lying.

 

Arpaio is not fluent in Spanish, and 60-percent of his officers are not hispanic.

 

You'd imagine an accomplished liar would at least make a more credible assertion.

rodeo3712
rodeo3712

 @wacha      Actually, I blast my "ranchero music all the time (during reasonable hours), so do my neighbors. My personal opinion is that most immigration laws were created out of greed. Our politicians place a high price on everything. Can you imagine the natives in 1642 telling Colombus that he had to pay $3000.00 to apply for a citizenship? Almost everyone in this country has an ancestor who immigrated here.

 

There are two sides to every argument and quite often, both sides can be correct. @dbearup was citing a slightly altered cliche, not threatening gun violence. I think you're just a troll who likes to post stupid comments to get a reaction and you have no real knowledge concerning politics, immigration, law enforcement or how most Mexican/Americans feel about illegals.

 

You believe that the Sheriff and his office are racist but you probably dont know that he speaks spanish fluently and that 60% of his officers are hispanic in origin.

 

A tragic mistake was made, the lady was wronged, immigration laws need reform but not to make it harder to come here but easier to become a citzen and pay taxes. I don't believe you have the guts to spit in an officers face.

 

These are my opinions, you cant change themwith threats, vulgarity, or manufactured stats.

 

dbearup
dbearup

 @wacha  @dbearup  @rodeo3712  Actually, Wacha, I would only be bothered by it if they were doing it in the middle of the night, and only then if I were trying to sleep. And in that case, I would first ask them myself to turn it down. If they refused, I would call and report that my neighbors were disturbing the peace. Not my spic neighbors, or the niggers next door, or any of that nonsense. I don't believe in race. As an idea, race is bullshit, and in practice it's nothing but trouble. YOU put the race card on the table, and I responded in kind because I have found that when I want my point to be understand I am better off expressing myself in a way the other person can identify with.

You're right, this woman's mistreatment is worth getting mad about. Nobody said you can't get mad, and it is your free speech right to call a cop a racist pig, or a cobb salad, or anything else. Rodeo was just pointing out that if you spit in that racist pig's face (as YOU said you would do) you'd be lucky to get off with just prison time. And I was just agreeing with him. The part about the gun? Well, cops carry guns, and there are a TON of news reports of cops killing suspects for less than stellar reasons. So go ahead, take your chances... I'm sure your injuries will heal.

wacha
wacha

@dbearup @rodeo3712 @Wacha Oh no!, here we go with the guns! So typical of Arizonians. You seem to burrie yourself everytime, first you say "gringos" & now it's the guns. Let me ask you something if someone in your neighborhood (hispanic of course) was blasting their ranchero music, would you call the police and say, or mention, "my neighbors", or "some Mexicans", or "might be illegals"? This is what I'm talking about. I can't get mad & call a police officer a racist pig? Should I think lightly of this? Common this is some bad shit! These actions deserve a negative reaction.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @dbearup Can't let this bit of rank hypocrisy slide:

 

The fool known as dbearup wrote:

 

"never speak to people the way you have expressed yourself to me here. Eventually, you will not like the consequences."

 

This follows a section where dbearup labels literally hundreds of thousands of people "criminals" despite knowing they have committed no crime and that no criminal statute even exists covering the acts he is complaining about.

 

The whiny little bastard can't stand being called out for spreading his lies and his hate, but he's perfectly willing to malign and slander an huge population of people.

 

For the sake of the literate: there is no crime of being illegally present in the United States, so sayeth the Congress, so sayeth the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

There is a crime of illegal entry into the United States, but that is a specific intent crime and very few of the "illegals" in our country meet that exacting standard.  This is particularly true of those brought into the United States when children.

 

dbearup knows all this - he just likes to lie.  He knows that when he labels these hard-working, religious, conservative people as criminals, he lowers the bar needed to persuade people that his xenophobic, racist opinions are valid.

 

He is a fraud.

 

Words have meaning, particularly the words "crime" and "criminal," and when those words are deliberately misused so as to justify bigotry and deception, he - and every coward that trucks with him - can expect a sure and swift smackdown.

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @dbearup  @TruC0nserv I'm not talking about social circles, I'm talking about the legal definitions of crime and criminal.

 

You are either wrong or you are a liar.

 

When you call people who not only haven't committed a crime, but there isn't even a statute on the books that covers their activity, as "criminals," what alternatives are left?

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on this.  Congress has agreed: There is no crime of being illegally present in the United States.

 

It is a CIVIL matter handled in front of CIVIL judges in CIVIL trials.

 

You initially used the words "crime" and "criminal" because you didn't know the law.  When the law was pointed out to you, rather than do the decent thing and drop your demonstratively false statements, you doubled down on them using an imagined "in my opinion" argument.

 

Screw your opinion.

 

I don't care if your opinion is that the Earth is flat - it would still be either wrong or a lie.

 

We can agree to disagree on a lot - I will never however agree to allow someone to use false information under the rubric of opinion to further hate and ignorance.

 

So far, that is all you've offered.

dbearup
dbearup

 @TruC0nserv Just because I am not using the definitions which are normal and customary in your social circle does not mean I am making up definitions. I am using the definitions which those with whom I share a common experience of the world we live in believe are normal and customary. In other words, everyone I KNOW would understand and accept the definitions I am using as well as the point I am making. They may not agree, but they would respect it. (You will find this hard to believe, but I actually respect your position. I would respect it more if you hadn't resorted to name-calling when you found me immovable on my position.) You seem to believe you live in a perfect world where law and legality and the definitions which would hold up in a court of law are the only things that matter. Here in the real world, where actions have consequences beyond an academic exercise, most people believe anyone in our country who violated a law to get into or remain in it is a criminal. Just because you don't believe it, doesn't make me wrong OR a liar.

Now, I am not going to respond to you again because we obviously will NEVER find common ground on this matter and  I am sick of being called a liar by someone I have never met.

In parting, a word of friendly advice - never speak to people the way you have expressed yourself to me here. Eventually, you will not like the consequences.

TruC0nserv
TruC0nserv

 @dbearup No, you don't understand.  Just like you claim that your words don't carry their normal and customary meaning, neither do his.

 

He's actually wishing you well.

 

See how asinine the world becomes when you just get to make up your own definitions and then whine when people don't "respect" them?

dbearup
dbearup

 @wacha  You're the one who started in with the f-bombs and the "pinches culeros" BS, not to mention calling the cops racist pigs and talking about racism in general, yet here you come back saying *I* started the racist remarks and you obviously got butt-hurt by my responding to your profanity with profanity - if you don't like it, clean up your own language and mind how you speak to others.

I agree Detective Oberly had no reason to arrest Ms. Torres, and the prosecutor had no reason to prosecute her. The fact that it happened - as I have maintained from my first post - is a travesty and the perpetrators should be punished.

Now, since you asked, "go back to Mexico" is not my personal answer to the immigration issue. "Go back to Mexico" is my advice to you, since you apparently hate living in this racist country and lack the self-control necessary to engage in a rational dialog with people even when they hold different opinions than your own. It's called the right to free speech and you may not like it but you have to respect it, at least enough to ignore speech you find disagreeable. Otherwise you're just giving the whole idea of Constitutional rights a blow job.

Finally, if you can't express yourself without insulting and swearing at people, don't be surprised if people reciprocate in kind.

 
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