Arizona mother deported to Mexico in immigration action


Garcia de Rayos could be the first person deported from Arizona under President Donald Trump's new executive order focused on removing undocumented immigrants with a history of arrests, her attorney told CNN affiliate KNXV-TV.

"Ms. Garcia's immigration case underwent review at multiple levels of the immigration court system, including the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the judges held she did not have a legal basis to remain in the US", she said.

Garcia de Rayos spent 22 years in the country illegally, arriving in the US when she was 14. Garcia was reportedly charged with identity theft in 2009.

Rayos has not lived in Mexico since she was 14 years old, and attended scheduled meetings with the ICE every 6 months.

But on Wednesday, when she went in for her usual check in, Ice agents took her into custody instead, separating her from her husband and children, who were waiting outside. A Republic photo identified a woman looking through one of the vehicle windows covered by security screening as Garcia de Rayos.

"We're resisting ICE, we're resisting Trump and we're resisting any effort to split families apart in our communities here in Arizona", one protester said.

Some chanted, "Liberation, not deportation", and her daughter, Jacqueline, held a sign that read "Not one more deportation".

As protestors surrounded the auto and held signs urging ICE not to breakup families, they shouted "liberation, not deportation". Garcia's arrest sparked large protests outside the ICE offices in Phoenix, which resulted in seven arrests.

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After reporting for her normal check-in with ICE, she never came out.

Her lawyer, Ray Ybarra-Maldonado, said he has submitted a request to stay her deportation.

While many have cited President Obama's high rate of deportations, the Obama administration worked to do exactly what Trump said he would do.

Under President Barack Obama's administration, García de Rayos had some protections: The administration told immigration officials to prioritize deporting people who were a threat to public safety or national security, had ties to gangs, or committed a serious felony or several misdemeanor crimes.

The demonstrators were anxious that the mother-of-two would be deported and chose to block the customs van in Arizona. Since she didn't meet these criteria, she was seemingly spared - even though a judge issued a deportation order against her in 2013.

"I'm going to keep on fighting for my mom and for the other families that are going through the same thing because this is unfair", she said.

Garcia pointed to the incident as a direct reflection of the severity of Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Now, under the Trump administration, the definition of "criminal alien" is broader than it was before.