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's newspaper career began in the early 80s, starting with small daily papers in Maryland and Massachusetts, where his stories won national awards. His most recent job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey, where his "true life" essays included award-winning pieces on a traveling rodeo and an in-depth story on an emergency room doctor that was nominated by Gannett News Service for a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. Cole also contracted with two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Thailand and Cambodia. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and novelist living in Northeast Pennsylvania, where he spends afternoons in a virtual running race around the equator, and evenings watching his daughter's magical stage performances. You can find him online at
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