Lady Liberty Tosses a Mexican Mom

Kid comes to America when she’s 14 to escape poverty. In order to work at an amusement park for minimum wage and no benefits, she writes a fake Social Security number on the job application (the number was not and has never been assigned to anyone). Regular payroll taxes are taken out of her checks up until she’s arrested and charged with felony impersonation, for which she is convicted.

For nine years by court order she reports annually to ICE headquarters. She has has no other encounters with police. She gives birth to two children while living in Arizona, where she’s been a resident for 22 years.

Yesterday she was deported to Mexico.

Go ahead and tell me this is the American way. And while doing it, message me your grandparent’s or great-grandparent’s names and social security numbers, and let’s take a close look at the circumstances of their arrival.

About colealpaugh

Cole Alpaugh began his newspaper career in the early 1980's at a daily paper on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where he covered everything from bake sales to KKK meetings. He moved on to a paper in Massachusetts to specialize in feature essays, where his stories on a Hispanic youth gang and the life of a Golden Gloves boxer won national awards. His most recent newspaper job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey, where he was given the freedom to pursue more "true life" essays, including award winning pieces on a traveling rodeo, and an in-depth story on an emergency room doctor. The doctor's story ended when the physician brought back to life an elderly woman who'd once been his children's babysitter. The essay was nominated by Gannett News Service for a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. Cole also did work for two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and guerrilla raids conducted out of the refugee camps along the Thai/Cambodia boarder. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and writer living in Northeast Pennsylvania, where he spends his afternoons watching his daughter hit fuzzy yellow balls and ski through slalom gates. You can find him online at
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