Protests, arrests as Mesa mom faces deportation after Trump order

Maxine SotoFeb 13, 2017

As the New York Times reports, Garcia de Rayos knew the situation might have changed due to President Trump's executive order, which said undocumented immigrants convicted of any criminal offense - or even those who may have committed "acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense" - are a priority for deportation.

Santos writes that Garcia de Rayos was "afraid to go to her appointment on Wednesday". Her lawyer claimed she didn't know the woman whose identity she was accused of stealing. Her husband, too, is an undocumented immigrant.

Garcia de Rayos was among the workers arrested in one of then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's first investigations into Phoenix-area businesses suspected of hiring immigrants who had used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.

The ministry also noted that the Mexican government, its embassy in the USA and the consular network there would "continue to provide assistance and protection to all Mexicans who require it regardless of their immigration status". She said her case underwent a thorough review that determined the 35-year-old mother of two children with US citizenship had no "legal basis to remain in the U.S". One man hugged a tire of the van while others marched and chanted in support of Garcia. The group gained notoriety during the 2016 presidential campaign when it blocked roads to a campaign rally for Donald Trump.

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Police ultimately removed the protester from the wheel, arrested a total of six people, and the van drove away. She was allowed to remain in the country, so long as she checked in with immigration officials, under an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama. She was detained and within 24 hours she was deported to her native Mexico.

According to officials late Thursday morning, the family of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos has been told she has been deported.

She was consequently ordered to self-deport in 2013, but was given a pass under the Obama administration's relaxed immigration standards, which mainly targeted "violent criminals or people who pose a threat to national security". Rayos has been required to check in with ICE every year since 2008, when she was caught working under a fake Social Security number.

Garcia de Rayos came illegally to the United States in the mid-1990s with her parents when she was 14.

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In its statement, ICE said Garcia was being held based on a deportation order in May 2013.

A judge had ordered her deportation in 2013, but she was allowed to stay in the USA because the Obama administration generally limited deportations to undocumented immigrants who committed serious crimes or had ties to criminal organizations, The Times' Fernanda Santos wrote.

The action sparked protests by supporters of Garcia de Rayos and drew praise from proponents of stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

People have gathered outside the ICE headquarters to protest against what could be the first Arizona deportation after President Trump's executive order. It includes people in the US illegally who "have been convicted of any criminal offense", "have been charged with any criminal offense", "have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense" or "are subject to a final order of removal", among other criteria.

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