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13 February 2017, 12:48 | Chelsea Hernandez
7 People Were Arrested After Protesters Blocked A Van From Deporting A Mother
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after she reported to an annual check-in early on Wednesday (8 February). Seeing her get taken away in a bunch of vans like she was like a huge criminal.
That felony conviction stemmed from a workplace raid conducted by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2008, where Garcia - who came to the U.S.in 1996 at the age of 14 - was found to have used a fake ID and Social Security number to get a job at the Golfland Sunsplash amusement park.
Garcia de Rayos reportedly left Acambaro, a city Mexican state of Guanajuato, and crossed the border into Nogales, Arizona.
There are 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the USA today and while it's unclear exactly how many will be affected by the order, there are already clear signs that large swaths of the community at risk.
A mother of two who has lived in America for more than 20 years, is believed to have become the first undocumented migrant to be deported since Donald Trump came to power.
Officials warned other Mexicans in the U.S.to be cautious, aware of their rights and to stay in contact with their local consulate. "No one should ever have to go through this", said her 16-year-old son, Angel.
This is viewer supported news. President Donald Trump, during his election campaign, promised to deport all undocumented immigrants, then softened his rhetoric, saying he first intends to focus on criminals.
About seven people were arrested during the protest, according to Phoenix police. She appealed and a court allowed her to stay in the United States as long as she checked in once a year with immigration authorities. An immigration attorney later told the crowd outside that Garcia de Rayos had been arrested.
Activists said it was not immediately clear if she had been moved out of the centre later on, after some vehicles were seen leaving the grounds via another exit.
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Garcia de Rayos did so for eight years and for eight years immigration officials let her stay in the country.
Her detention sparked protests in Arizona, where one man tied himself to the wheels of an immigration van and at least six demonstrators were arrested.
Garcia said if former President Barack Obama was still in office, she likely would not have been deported and would have continued to check in with ICE officials while be allowed to stay with her US citizen children.
Protesters surround a van at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday night.
However, she was allowed to remain under President Barack Obama's policy of leniency towards undocumented migrants who had entered the United States as children.
Maldonado said his client's deportation could push immigrants deeper into the shadows and to avoid checking in with authorities like Garcia de Rayos always did.
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