Protesters in Phoenix surrounded an Immigration and Customs Enforcement vehicle to protest against the deportation of 36-year-old Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos.
Garcia de Rayos has been in the United States since she was 14 years old. She was reportedly convicted eight years ago of working illegally but she had been given a pass by federal immigration official for nearly four years to stay in the country.
However, when she went for an immigration check-in this week, she was detained. Meanwhile, her husband and two children, both born in the U.S., watched on helplessly.
Garcia de Rayos could become the first woman in Arizona to be deported under President Donald Trump’s stringent immigration executive orders, which also include deportation of undocumented immigrants who were ever convicted of or charged with any felonies.
The mother of two was convicted of “felony identity theft in 2009 for working at the Golfland Sunsplash amusement park in Mesa,” according to 12 News. Her arrest took place as part of the infamous workplace raids by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is notorious for his tough stance on immigration (and he also supports Trump’s Mexican wall.)
Crowds chanting "no one is illegal” gathered outside the ICE headquarters all afternoon and evening to protest against her detention. Some even sat in front of the van that was reportedly carrying Garcia de Rayos.
"Lupita was a victim of Arpaio's raids," Maria Castro, 23, a protester, told AZ Central. "And now she is a victim of Trump 's deportation machine."
"She's built a great life for herself and her children, and her kids want her to be home at night,” explained Ray Ybarra-Maldonado, a Phoenix immigration lawyer now representing Garcia de Rayos, according to AZ Central. “Her kids want her to take them to school, to be at the parent-teacher conference, to see them go to prom, and to see them graduate, and more than anything she deserves to live a life she has built.”
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