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How Arizona cheats immigration reform

PHOENIX--Ivon Matamoros has been packing most of her baby daughter’s clothes and blankets to start a reluctant journey back to Mexico. Matamoros, 24, could be among hundreds of youth who qualify for a deportation reprieve under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But she didn’t apply.

Matamoros didn’t think she would qualify because she has a felony on her record -- for working with false documents as a cashier and buser at a Pei Wei chain restaurant.

An immigration judge told her this was a “crime of moral turpitude” and that she would have to leave. He gave her a date to do so, willingly: March 21.

“The judge said it reflected badly on my character,” said Matamoros. “If I didn’t have that felony, I would have been able to qualify for DACA.”

Groups Denounce Raids, Prosecutions

As discussions ramp up in Congress to come up with a federal comprehensive immigration reform bill, pro-immigrant groups and attorneys in Arizona are denouncing the raids and prosecutions of workers like Matamoros, which could hurt their chances of becoming documented residents.

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