Latina Woman Jailed Because Authorities Thought She Was Illegal
Briseira Torres, a 31 year old single mom from Glendale, Arizona, was held without bond in Estrella Jail for four and a half months. Why? Because Arizona citizens passed something known as Proposition 100. This prevents illegal immigrants from posting bail if they have committed a serious crime.
Except… Briseira Torres was neither an undocumented immigrant nor a perpetrator of a serious crime.
Torres, a resident of Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County, was looking to get a passport for her 13 year old daughter but was told that she had to go to a satellite location. When she arrived, authorities questioned her about her birth certificate and her citizenship and then took her into custody because they assumed she was an illegal immigrant and had forged her birth certificate.
When Torres’ case was finally brought to court, the judge asked if the prosecutors had even looked for the long-form birth certificate, because it was clear that Torres was an American citizen. The prosector admitted that, no, they had not looked for the certificate.
Now, I realize that Joe Arpaio is probably too busy searching for Obama’s “real” birth certificate to give a damn about the citizens who he is supposed to be protecting, but this kind of oversight is just unbelievable.
Actually, no, I take that back. It’s absolutely believable. For Arizona.
It does not surprise me in the least bit to see that Arizona’s hatred for Latinos has affected American citizens of Latino descent. This is a state that has been codifying bigotry into law for quite some time now. Jan Brewer, when not bathing in Mexican tears in a claw-footed tub, has been proposing anti-Latino legislation since she took office. Joe Arpaio arrested a six-year old girl suspected of being an undocumented immigrant. You can’t make this shit up.
And if you think it’s really about protecting America and keeping out “illegal aliens,” then maybe you can help clear this up for me… why the hell does Joe Arpaio have the time to arrest six-year olds, but no time to look up someone’s birth certificate who has been in jail for four and a half months? Someone who, by the way, cannot post bail because of a law you are partly responsible for?
Which brings me to my next question.
Why is there not a media firestorm about this right now? Where is the outcry? An innocent American citizen was thrown in jail for four and a half months.
That’s four and a half months her daughter went without her mother. That’s four and a half months that bills didn’t get paid. That’s four and a half months Briseira Torres will never get back and yet the story has not been picked up by any major news outlets.
Hmmm… I wonder if it could have anything to do with the fact that Torres is brown.
Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio have certainly done a great job at blaming illegal aliens for all of Arizona’s problems. By creating an environment of constant fear, they have been able to cultivate hate, and they have used that hate to promote legislation like Proposition 100. And the good people of Arizona are apparently all too happy to vote their rights away as long as it means protection from those damn immigrants.
But Briseira Torres was thrown in jail and lost her car and her house because of Arizona’s discriminatory policies towards Latinos. And, as far as I can see, not a damn has been given on the national media’s account. Whether they are documented or undocumented citizens, Latino people of color continue to bear the brunt of Arizona’s vitriolic atmosphere.
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