AP Exclusive: NM governor clarifies immigrant past

AP News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2011 3:21 PM
AP Exclusive: NM governor clarifies immigrant past

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has dug into her family's ancestry and uncovered documents that she says suggest her paternal grandparents followed the law and common practices in coming to the United States from Mexico in the early 1900s, contradicting earlier indications they were illegal immigrants.

The Republican governor made headlines earlier this year by acknowledging that her grandparents came to the U.S. without immigration documents. But she said her comments were based on what she has since learned were mischaracterizations of census information by the news media.

A 1930 U.S. census has been cited in published reports as indicating the governor's grandparents were illegal immigrants. The census used a code, "AL" to designate they were "aliens," meaning they were not U.S. citizens. It doesn't indicate their immigration status, according to historians.