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Woman who took cousin's identity to be deported for voting

Photo: Erik Hersman / CC BY 2.0 / MGN

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A Mexican national whose attorney says used a cousin's identity to live in the U.S. for decades is facing deportation after pleading guilty in Texas to illegally voting in the 2016 election.

Laura Janeth Garza was convicted Thursday. Her attorney, John Cardenas, said the 38-year-old Houston woman entered the country as a young girl. He said she was about 12 years old when family told her to assume the identity of a cousin who was a U.S. citizen but had moved to Mexico.

Cardenas said Garza worked at Houston public schools helping assess students. He didn't know how she voted and said Garza offered to return to Mexico if the charges were dropped.

Last year, the Texas attorney general's office prosecuted another Mexican national also facing deportation for illegal voting.

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