Arizona Immigrant Mother Given Leniency Under Obama Administration, Deported

"An undocumented woman at the center of an immigration uproar has now been deported after 21 years living in the US, she was arrested yesterday and shipped back to Mexico today, " announced anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, "Now the family she leaves behind is voicing their outrage and pointing fingers at the president".

Officials warned Mexicans in the U.S.to be cautious, aware of their rights and to stay in contact with their local consulate.

Angel Rayos Garcia, 16, the son of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, speaks to the press as he is comforted by his father, the husband of Guadalupe, who doesn't wish to be identified by name, outside ICE headquarters in Phoenix on February 9, 2017. Her U.S. -citizen children were by her side, their first time in Mexico. It's likely that by Thursday morning, Garcia de Rayos had completed processing and was in Mexico - away from home and family. She was convicted in 2009 of felony identity theft after she was arrested in a workplace raid under then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Her lawyers told ABC's Phoenix affiliate, KNXV, that the raid was subsequently ruled unconstitutional.

In 2013, ICE says, an order for her deportation was finalized. They held up a van holding Garcia de Rayos for about an hour, but later ICE vehicles were able to leave from a different exit.

On Wednesday, she showed up with her lawyer for a routine check-in with ICE officials and was detained instead.

It is believed she was deported to Nogales, Mexico. The detention reflects President Donald Trump's executive order to deport any undocumented immigrant who have criminal record. She was later convicted of felony criminal impersonation. Immigration-related offenses were deemed lower priority.

On Jan. 25, Trump issued two executive orders aimed at meeting campaign promises he'd made on immigration.

"So certainly the scope of the executive order, if interpreted broadly, would be large enough to encompass most if not all of the unauthorized population", Randy Capps of the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute tells NPR's Adrian Florido.

Advocates have already begun fielding questions from immigrant communities about what the orders mean for them and the sense of fear within those communities is palpable. "The battle lines have been drawn".

Her attorney, Ray Ybarra Maldonado, said there aren't many legal avenues for her to come back to the U.S.

"The case involving Mrs. Garcia de Rayos illustrates a new reality for the Mexican community living in the United States, facing the most severe implementation of immigration control measures", Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. "There's no waiver she can submit", Maldonado said.

"It's no fun walking someone to the slaughter", he said.

In an earlier Thursday press release, ICE said de Rayos was designated for deportation in 2013.

"I'm doing this for my kids so they have a better life".

Her teenage daughter Jacqueline has vowed to battle on to reunite a family that has been torn apart. "We're a united family". We're a family who goes to church on Sundays.

"It's a nightmare having your mother taken away from you", he said.

The ministry said Mexico's consulates in the U.S. were "stepping up" their work to protect fellow nationals "anticipating more severe immigration measures to be implemented by the authorities".

  • Anthony Vega