Was Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s father and mother an illegal immigrant?
Is Judge Curiel a “white Hispanic”? Did Curiel’s mother become a citizen through the 1965 Immigration Act? And, why, oh why, can we find no evidence that they ever became citizens?
An investigation into Judge Curiel’s heritage might shed a clue. Curiel has repeatedly brought up his heritage in the past so we looked into it.
The family records were obtained by GotNews.com suggest that Curiel’s father first came to the country.
Curiel’s father, Salvador, died in 1964– a few weeks before the 1965 Immigration Act.
Curiel’s brother, Raul, discussed the family’s immigration status in the New York Times.
Raul Curiel said their father, Salvador, arrived in Arizona as a laborer in the 1920s, eventually receiving citizenship and becoming a steelworker. Their parents were married in Mexico in 1946, and their mother, Francisca, became a citizen after joining her husband in the United States.
We could not find evidence for naturalization records of Curiel’s father or mother.
We did, however, find evidence that Curiel’s father crossed the border in 1923 at Nogales, Arizona.
Here’s his work permit:
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The Curiels entered the country again in 1946.
Here’s Curiel’s father’s death certificate.
Below is Curiel’s mother’s death records.
Yes, it’s true that the death certificate has the mother’s citizenship but death certificates are a notoriously unreliable document. Where’s her social security number for instance?
Curiel’s father died in 1964–a year before the 1965 Immigration Act.
We know that Curiel is also half-Caucasian — half a “white Hispanic” to borrow the New York Times’s phrase.
Is Curiel Mexican?
You bet he’s Mexican.
The judge’s obsessed with letting you know how Mexican he is.
“We were working without the disconnect of interpreters and barriers of culture,” Curiel told the New York Times in 2002. “When it comes down to it this [drug dealing across the border] involves the country of our parents.” (Tim Weiner, “New Web of Trust Topples a Mighty Mexican Cartel,” New York Times, April 26, 2002)