Things That Matter

Latina, Mother Of Two, Gets Deported After Meeting With Her Immigration Agents

Twitter/@aprilmichellei/ @DAguirreTAZ

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.



Head to The New York Times for more details about Guadalupe’s case. 

READ: mexican-born u.s. soldier who served two tours in afghanistan could be deported after drug conviction

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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