Editorial: Time to stop questions about guv’s grandpa

OK, so now we know. But why did anyone have to care? It's now been confirmed that Gov. Susana Martinez' paternal grandfather was a U.S. citizen and not an illegal immigrant. Holy smokes, is that ever a big load off all of our minds!

It was almost getting to be the Barack Obama birth-certificate flap all over again.

Because some people made a big deal over the question, The Associated Press gets kudos for dusting off the truth. Grandpa Martinez was legally admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident in 1918 and became a U.S. citizen in 1942. He drove a cab in El Paso and died in 1976.

Martinez says she didn't know all that. And when questions came up she couldn't ask around because …

Grandfather Adolfo R. Martinez was estranged from his family of five children, all of whom were born in the U.S.

She couldn't ask Grandmother Martinez because she died in 1934 at the age of 31. She couldn't ask her parents because her father, Jake Martinez, has Alzheimer's disease and her mother died six years ago. … And on top of it all, the governor really didn't care.

She said it best: "I don't see its importance … Let's just say (if) they did come here illegally. I don't see how I am responsible for that."

Some have asked the question about Martinez' grandfather because others mention her as a possible vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. And, you know, you can't have someone on your ticket whose grandfather sneaked into the U.S. — which he didn't do, as we now know.

Probably what confused some was that back in the day there was basically an open border. No Homeland Security. No U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. No Border Patrol. No drones. You could bring avocados over if you so desired.

You just walked back and forth. At checkpoints you indicated if you planned to go home or you planned to stay in the U.S. And if you decided to stay, you filled out some papers — and that's what the governor's grandfather did way back before she was born.

But because there were few restrictions on entering the U.S. in the early 1900s, sometimes paperwork … well, can be difficult to find.

Kudos again to The AP for digging up the documents on Adolfo R. Martinez in the National Archives Southwest Region center in Fort Worth, Texas. Yes sir, the governor's grandfather died a U.S. citizen, all right.

— Las Cruces Sun-News

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