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Trump Administration’s Priority for Deportation? A Phoenix Mom with Two American Kids Trying to Comply with the Law

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The Trump Administration’s treatment of Guadalupe García de Rayos – an Arizona mom of two U.S. citizens, who came to America more than twenty years ago at the age of 14 – is proof that his agents are indeed pursuing a policy of total, unrelenting, un-prioritized deportations as outlined in his interior enforcement executive order.

Lupita was taken at the local ICE office as she came to check in for her regular appointment this week, an appointment she has kept for years.  She was required to check in regularly at ICE following a raid carried out by Sheriff Joe Arpaio – a man who has since been disgraced, charged with violating the law, and lost his job.  As the New York Times describes:

“Every year since then, she has walked in and out of the [ICE] meetings after a brief review of her case and some questions. But not this year. On Wednesday, immigration agents arrested Ms. Rayos, 35, and began procedures to send her back to Mexico, a country she has not seen since she left it 21 years ago … The Obama administration made a priority of deporting people who were deemed a threat to public or national safety, had ties to criminal gangs, or had committed serious felony offenses or a series of misdemeanor crimes. Ms. Rayos did not fit any of these criteria.”

Led by Puente Arizona and a range of other community leaders and allies, Lupe’s community rallied throughout the day yesterday on her behalf. Last night, as Puente Arizona reports, ICE was caught on livestream attempting to deport her in a van that was quickly surrounded by protesters in a standoff that lasted hours into the night. Phoenix police aided ICE in its attempt to deport Lupita by arresting the Phoenix residents who sat on the ground surrounding the van.

At 1 PM Eastern/11 AM Phoenix time today, community leaders and advocates will hold a press call to provide an update on her case and its implications. To join, dial 712-432-0075 with code: 893316#.

“With the January 25th interior enforcement executive order, any notion of prioritization was thrown out the window.  Lupita is simply the first high-profile example.  It’s outrageous to see this ordinary mom being treated like a danger to America.  She is not.  Her children need her.  The government’s actions here are tragic and unjust.  Wake up, America: this is what mass deportation looks like,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund.

While President Trump has pledged that his administration would focus deportations on ‘criminals,’ the recent immigration executive order dealing with interior enforcement makes it clear that just about all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America are at risk of deportation.


Puente Arizona’s video about Guadalupe’s case: https://www.facebook.com/puenteaz/videos/1425234367501409/

Read David Leopold’s recent Medium piece assessing the immigration executive order. Leopold explains that, “Trump’s plan is a blueprint to implement his campaign promises of mass deportation, and it puts in place the Deportation Force to carry out his plan.”