Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 35, walked into the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Phoenix on Wednesday, as she has done every year for the past eight years. As an undocumented immigrant with an arrest record for using a fake social security number in 2008 (for employment), she was instructed to check in with ICE annually.
This year, however, the New York Times reports that immigration rights advisors instructed her not to show up for her appointment because of Donald Trump’s executive order against immigrants with police records.
García de Rayos showed up for her appointment anyway, because she told them she had faith in God.
García de Rayos was held by ICE agents overnight, and today she was deported to Mexico despite protests.
From the moment García de Rayos was taken in by ICE, her two children and husband, supporters, and immigration rights activists, protested outside the building.
“The only crime my mother committed was to go to work to give a better life for her children,” said her daughter, Jacqueline, as her mother entered the ICE building.
Crowds protested for hours and stood in front of the van to stop ICE from taking her.
Eventually, she was separated from her family — something her son, Angel, had feared since his mother was first arrested in 2008.
“I was in second grade. I never forgot that night and I lived in fear of losing my mother every night since then,” Angel told the New York Times.
Supporters continued to protest well into the night.
They chanted “Liberation, not deportation.”
The police showed up as well.
At a press conference today, García de Rayos’s lawyer, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, spoke in detail about the arrest and said that ICE never contacted him to say that his client would be deported.
Garcia de Rayos’ husband added that the fight for her return has only just begun.
“Nobody should have to pack her mother’s bag,” said Garcia de Rayo’s daughter.