Rosa Marie Ortega, who was busted voting illegally multiple times in Texas, is now facing deportation.
Per a NBC report from 2018, She voted five times between 2004 and 2014 — once for the attorney general, Ken Paxton, who later prosecuted her, according to her attorney. She also reportedly served as a poll worker.
The HuffPost explained
When Ortega first tried to register at her new residence in 2014, she indicated on her application that she was a non-citizen. Because she checked that box, a local election official sent her a letter saying she was ineligible to vote. Since Ortega had voted before at her old address, she called the local election office to find out why she was being rejected. After learning it was because she’d checked the non-citizen box, she mailed in a second voter registration form indicating that she was a citizen. That application wound up in front of Delores Stevens, the same person who had processed Ortega’s original application and spoken with her on the phone. Stevens registered her to vote.
USAToday reports last December, with the country’s attention elsewhere, Rosa Marie Ortega was quietly granted parole after serving just over nine months. She now faces a more permanent punishment: The 40-year-old mother of four teenagers, who first came to the United States as a baby and lived here legally with a green card, is the target of deportation proceedings to her native country of Mexico.
After being paroled, Ortega spent nearly two more months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
She was freed on bond by an immigration judge last month. The U.S. Department of Justice office that handles immigration proceedings did not respond to a request Thursday for information on her case, including when she is next due to appear in court.
Efforts to reach Ortega and members of her family were unsuccessful, and her former lawyers said they have also lost contact with her.
Professor Jean Reisz, of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, said that a person in Ortega’s position may remain in the United States for months or even years due to a court backlog, but ultimately has steep odds at avoiding deportation due to federal law stating that “any alien who has voted in violation of any Federal, State, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation is deportable.”
“There are very limited applications for relief, and a felony criminal conviction would bar you from a lot of relief,” Reisz said. “And once you have that conviction there’s no way to get rid of it unless its vacated by a criminal judge, or you are pardoned by the governor or the president.”
VIDEO from 2017: