Feathered Bastard

Bill Montgomery's Shame: Mom Risks Deportation Because of MCAO Felony

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Rather, he wasted time and resources on people whose big crime was filling out their application with another person's name.

Ivon Diaz filled out that application five years before the raid. She also filled out a W-4 with false info. However, as her court paperwork plainly states, "There is no victim involved in this case."

Actually, I would argue that Diaz, 24, was the victim. Other than using a false identity to work and be a model employee, she has never done anything wrong.

She's been in the country since she was 15, and has graduated from high school. She normally would be eligible for President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, if the MCSO had not raided Pei Wei on March 4, 2011, and if County Attorney Bill Montgomery had not sought felony charges against her.

"I know I broke the law because I had to work," she told me today. "But I am not doing bad stuff, like drugs and alcohol. They have to understand, people came here to work and for a better life."

She met her future husband at church. Their wedding was planned for March 5, 2011, the day after the Pei Wei raid, which disrupted the lives of more than two dozen people and their families.

She spent 96 days in Estrella Jail, along with many actual criminals, until she accepted a plea agreement to a class 6 felony. She said she then did another 20 days at a federal detention center in Eloy.

For someone else, the felony plea she pulled might have allowed for a cancellation of removal. But in her case, since she had not been in the country for ten years or more, she had few options.

She was granted a voluntary departure from the country. If she's not out by Thursday, her voluntary departure turns into an order of removal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could come calling at any time.

She's going to take the risk and stay. All of her immediate family is here. She married Luis after she got out, and now they have a 7 month-old American citizen child.

The baby's name is Zurisadai, which is from the Old Testament. I'm told it means, "The Almighty is my rock."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons