Longform

When It Comes to Identification, Prisoners Are Held in Higher Esteem Than Migrants

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Gabriela Diaz is at the opposite end of the migrant struggle from Juana. She is a landlord, albeit one with a five-foot statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe in her living room.

"It is very difficult for people without identification to rent a home because they have to sign a lease which has to be notarized, and a notary won't put a stamp on it without proper Arizona identification," Diaz says. "We have many, many migrants in this neighborhood, but they don't have papers."

The identification issue seeps into her life in more ways than the rent.

"I have a lot of family without ID. When someone asks for ID and you don't have it, you feel shame."

You can also feel danger.

Diaz's daughter goes to a high school where many of the girls are in gangs. The bangers were going to beat her daughter. So she called the police.

"The officers asked for my identification. Why do they need my identification? That's why people are afraid to call the police. I had to get a restraining order, and I needed to show Arizona identification to protect my daughter. These girls going after my daughter are not going down the right path."

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey