PHOENIX — Her parents are criminals, technically speaking, having pleaded guilty to impersonation for falsifying a Social Security number to secure employment, a felony in this state. They were caught in a workplace raid led by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2009, a tactic for catching illegal immigrants that solidified his reputation as a no-holds-barred lawman, but one that has turned out to be as questionable as it was effective.
The raid, which was televised live on a placid Saturday, seized her attention because it occurred at her parents’ workplace: the Lindstrom Family Auto Wash.
Katherine Figueroa, 9 years old at the time, dropped the game of bingo she had been playing and stared at the screen, where she spotted her father, Carlos Figueroa, the carwash’s supervisor, hands bound before him as he was led to a sheriff’s office van that took him to jail, where he spent 90 days. Her mother, Sandra, who worked at the vacuuming station, was close behind.