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PHOENIX An Arizona mother of two who lived in
the United States for more than 20 years was deported to Mexico
on Thursday, becoming one of the first to be swept up in the
Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants in the
United States, her attorney and family said.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, was taken to Nogales, Mexico,
on Thursday morning by U.S. immigration staff, her attorney Ray
Ybarra-Maldonado told a news conference. Both of her
American-born children and her husband remained in the United
Her detention sparked a protest on Wednesday outside a
Phoenix Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office during
which seven demonstrators were arrested.
Garcia de Rayos, who came to the United States at age 14 and
was living in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, had been allowed to
remain under the Obama administration’s policy despite a 2013
arrest by immigration officials, her attorney said.
ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe confirmed in an email
that Garcia de Rayos was deported to Mexico.
“Ms. Garcia, who has a prior felony conviction in Arizona
for criminal impersonation, was the subject of a court-issued
removal order that became final in July 2013,” Pitts O’Keefe
“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 U.S.,” she said.
Pitts O’Keefe declined to give details of the arrest, but
Garcia de Rayos’ attorney said she was arrested in 2008 as part
of a workplace raid at a Mesa water park and accused of identity
Garcia de Rayos was required to check-in annually with
officials and was taken into custody on Wednesday after her
Her attorney and family decried the action.
“What have we come to as a society when we allow our
government to rip a mother away from her two children?”
Ybarra-Maldonado said at the news conference outside the ICE
Her teenage daughter, Jacqueline, vowed to continue efforts
to bring her mother back to the United States.
“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.
President Donald Trump’s administration has directed immigration officials to end the practice known as “catch and
release” and deport all illegal immigrants, even if they have
not committed serious crimes or pose any danger.
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