Trump Kicks Off Program of Deporting Dangerous Lawbreakers - By Tearing Arizona Mom From Family
Trump’s program of increased deportation of immigrants cranked up on Wednesday when an Arizona woman was taken away in front of her crying children and put in a van for Mexico after more than two decades of living peacefully in the United States.
An ICE spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday evening that Garcia had been detained. It's the first public sign in Arizona of President Donald Trump's executive order expanding his priorities for deportation.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is a convicted felon, but her felony was being caught in a workplace raid more than a decade ago and being charged with “working in the country illegally” — not exactly what most people had in mind when Trump said he would first go after “criminal” immigrants.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” he said in the interview, to air on “60 Minutes” on CBS.
That’s what Donald Trump said. But that’s not the instructions that have been given to ICE. What’s happening in the world outside Donald Trump’s speeches is that good people voluntarily reporting their status, are being punished for their cooperation.
For four years, federal immigration authorities have given Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos a pass to remain in the U.S. rather than deport her back to Mexico.
That changed Wednesday, when Garcia de Rayos went to check in as usual at the central Phoenix offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead of being released, she was taken into custody, while her husband, two children — both U.S.-born citizens — and a group of supporters watched in tears.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was brought to the United States when she was only 14, and has lived in Arizona for 22 years. She was married there, worked there, and raised a family there. Her own 14-year-old daughter was there on Wednesday to see her mother taken away.
At the ICE facility in Phoenix, protesters gathered and formed a ring in an attempt to block a convoy of vans. With Garcia de Rayos’ family still present, police arrested protesters who refused to move, and around midnight, the vans rolled out. It’s likely that by Thursday morning, Garcia de Rayos had completed processing and was in Mexico — away from home and family.
While many have cited President Obama’s high rate of deportations, the Obama administration worked to do exactly what Trump said he would do.
Trump's order is a major departure from former President Barack Obama's deportation priorities, which focused primarily on deporting undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes and allowing those with long ties to the U.S. and no significant criminal background to remain in the U.S.
What Trump’s executive order has done is to is put in place rules that punish everyone but criminals.
"It has 100 percent to do with the executive order," said Ray Ybarra-Maldonado, a Phoenix immigration lawyer who is representing Garcia de Rayos. "Her case is no different than the last time she checked in. The facts are 100 percent the same. The only difference is the priorities for removal have now changed."