A Dallas County sheriff’s jail guard was arrested at work by federal immigration officers on accusations of being in the U.S. illegally and now faces deportation, reports the Dallas Morning News. Maria Ross, 34, was taken into custody Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Ross, who was hired in 2001, has most recently served on Sheriff Lupe Valdez’s quality assurance team, which oversees improvements to sanitation and maintenance in the jails. Ross’ citizenship problem came to light when she underwent a background check after recently applying to become a deputy sheriff, County Commissioner John Wiley Price said. “I think it was a shock to all of us,” he said. Price said the department should have caught any problem with Ross’ immigration status when she was hired during the tenure of Sheriff Jim Bowles.