Arizona Mother May Be Facing Deportation Due to Trump Immigration Order
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 detention of an Arizona mother who left Mexico and entered the USA illegally when she was 14 is drawing attention to an element of President Trump's executive order on immigration and border security that was overshadowed by discussion of the border wall.
"The case of Mrs. Garcia de Rayos illustrates the new reality that the Mexican community lives in the United States, faced with the most severe application of immigration control measures", Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in Spanish today.
"It's a nightmare having your mother taken away from you", her son Angel tells Fronteras.
Her teenage daughter Jacqueline has vowed to battle on to reunite a family that has been torn apart.
A mother of two who has lived in America for more than 20 years, is believed to have become the first undocumented migrant to be deported since Donald Trump came to power.
Garcia de Rayos says she's not sure what comes next for her but that her parents, who live in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, are headed to Nogales to reunite with her; she came to the US from Guanajuato when she was 14.
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Rev. Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, said he read about Garcia de Rayos' situation Thursday morning and shortly after, he heard she would be staying at the organization's shelter in Mexico.
On Wednesday, she showed up with her lawyer for a routine check-in with ICE officials and was detained instead of being allowed to leave after checking in. "She went in with the lawyer and didn't come out". A federal judge later found the sheriff's department had engaged in illegal racial profiling; another federal judge barred Arizona from charging people who seek work with fake papers with felony identity theft. After Garcia de Rayo appealed the voluntary departure, ICE gave her an order of supervision instructing her to check in yearly, and then every six months, he said.
Following her detention and deportation order, protests erupted in Phoenix and demanded her release.
"She's working. She's supporting her family", Carroll said.
During Rayos' meeting on Wednesday, officers arrested her and prepared her for deportation. He said the Arpaio raids terrorized the community.
Officials warned Mexicans in the U.S.to be cautious, aware of their rights and to stay in contact with their local consulate. Relevant databases indicate Ms. Garcia De Rayos has a prior felony conviction dating from March 2009 for criminal impersonation. "The goal of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States", the order reads.
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