Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, who was convicted of a felony eight years ago, is reportedly the first in Arizona has been deported to Mexico as part of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive orders, which called for undocumented residents convicted of crimes to be deported.
The 36-year old was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 8.
She was deported on February 9 to Nogales, Mexico.
Here’s what you need to know about Garcia:
1. Garcia Was Convicted in 2009 of Identity Theft
Garcia was ordered to be deported back to Mexico by ICE. She was being held by the agency based on a deportation order from May 2013, NBC 12 News reported.
She was first arrested in 2008 during a raid on her workplace when officers took her and several other employees into custody under the suspicion of identity theft — using false documents to gain employment, the New York Times wrote.
She spent three months in a jail and then detention following her conviction of felony identity theft, the Los Angeles Times reported.
She was held by ICE on February 8 for her conviction, which occurred when she worked at Golfland Sunsplash amusement Park in Mesa. Her family, activist groups and the community fought against the deportation orders in 2013, which at that time called for a voluntary deportation.
Trump’s orders expanded border security and subjected undocumented immigrants who have committed “any criminal offense” to a “final order of removal.”
ICE released a statement to local media following her being detailed February 8 that said:
Ms. Garcia De Rayos is currently being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013. Relevant databases indicate Ms. Garcia De Rayos has a prior felony conviction dating from March 2009 for criminal impersonation.
Garcia showed up at ICE headquarters earlier in the day knowing she could likely be deported because of the new orders..
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Read more about Guadalupe Garcia in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:
Guadalupe García de Rayos de Mesa, Arizona ha sido deportada después de ser arrestada por el ICE. Los manifestantes intentaron…Click here to read more
2. Garcia Was Detained February 8 After Checking In With ICE
As she had done every six months, Garcia checked in at ICE headquarters in Phoenix the morning of February 8, the LA Times reported. But, as had been her supporters’ fear, immigration attorney Garcia de Rayos confirmed that she had been arrested.
Upon arriving at the facility, Garcia was joined by supporters. Only thing time, as Carlos Garcia, director of Puente Arizona Human Rights Movement, said, things felt unusual.
We all knew something could be different this time with the new administration. She went in with the lawyer and didn’t come out. That was pretty much all there was.
Garcia had been held at the agency until the late evening on February 8, when she was seen being loaded into a van and transported to an unknown location.
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3. Her Arrest & Deportation Drew Large Protests
The action drew protests from those who wanted her to be released. Some of them stood in front of ICE with Garcia in the back of their truck and tried to prevent them from driving down the street. At least seven people were reported arrested at the scene.
When she was being transporting in a van, supporters and activists acted by shouting and trying to stop the van from traveling down the road.
NBC 12 News reported that Garcia may be “moved to a federal detention center in Elroy, Arizona, while awaiting deportation.” Though it’s currently unclear if that’s where the ICE van was headed during the ordeal.
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4. She Came to the U.S. When She Was 14 & Has 2 Kids
Garcia has lived in the U.S. for the past 22 years and has worked within the community. She lives in Mesa with her husband and two teenage children, a daughter, Jacqueline, and a son, Angel.
When she was 14, Garcia left Mexico and “sneaked across the border into Nogales, Arizona,” the New York Times reported. Her husband is also undocumented.
She arrived at check-in at ICE the morning of February 8 with her two kids, who were both born in the U.S., her husband, and dozens of other supporters of her cause to not be deported. Her 14-year-old daughter had previously fought with the activist group Puente Arizona for her mother to stay in America.
The group, which describes itself as a “grassroots migrant justice organization based in Phoenix, Arizona,” had launched a campaign to try and keep Garcia on U.S. soil.
5. A Group Has Filed a Stay of Removal
According to the LA Times, Puente Arizona has filed a stay-of-removal request with ICE. The report said that the group thinks the original request for deportation in 2013 and charge against Garcia in 2009 was “unconstitutional” and in no way should involve her being deported from the country.
However, the request was denied and Garcia was deported back to Mexico on February 9.
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