At least seven protesters were arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday night after Guadalupe García de Rayos, a 35-year-old mother of two American teenagers, was arrested and set for deportation in accordance with Donald Trump’s executive order expanding the definition of “criminal alien.”
The New York Times reports that Rayos, who was convicted in 2008 of using a false social security number to obtain employment—common for otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants—was allowed to stay in the U.S. after a judge issued a deportation order against her in 2013 because the Obama administration prioritized deportations of people with gang ties, who were deemed a threat to public safety, or who’d committed serious felony offenses or a series of misdemeanor crimes. Under Trump’s recent executive order, however, all undocumented immigrants convicted of or believed to have committed a criminal offense—like crossing the border illegally—are up for deportation, and the ICE has stopped granting requests for prosecutorial discretion.
Rayos has not lived in Mexico since she was 14 years old, and attended scheduled meetings with the ICE every 6 months. “We all knew something could be different this time with the new administration,” Carlos Garcia, director of the immigrant advocacy group Puente Arizona, told the Los Angeles Times. “She went in with the lawyer and didn’t come out. That was pretty much all there was.”
Rayos’ husband and children joined about 200 protestors that attempted to block ICE vans from taking her away. “I’ve lived in fear of losing my mother every night” since she was arrested in 2008, her son Angel, 16, told the New York Times.
The Los Angeles Times has calculated that up to 8 million undocumented immigrants could be considered priorities for deportation under Trump’s executive order. “They are going to give lip service to going after criminals, but they really are going to round up everybody they can get their hands on,” immigration lawyer David Leopold told the LA Times.
UPDATE: Guadalupe García de Rayos has been deported, immigration advocates working with her family told reporters on Thursday afternoon. She called her family from Nogales, Mexico this morning.