Deportation Priorities Expanded

Deportation Priorities Expanded

Yesterday, Guadelupe Garcia de Rayos, a 35-year-old immigrant living in Arizona, was deported after a routine check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. For eight years, the mother of 2 U.S. born children has had regular check ins with ICE after she had appealed a voluntary deportation when she was detained in 2008 for using a fake Social Security number. ICE had always let Garcia de Rayos go after previous check-ins, but this time she was immediately detained and deported to Mexico. According to civil rights lawyers, she is perhaps among the first undocumented immigrants to be arrested during a scheduled meeting with immigration officials.

Garcia de Rayos, who has lived in the U.S. since she was 14, had feared this may be the possible outcome of her scheduled meeting with ICE officials, and immigration advocacy group Puente Arizona organized a rally outside the immigration offices. Protestors blocked the van transporting Garcia de Rayo, including a man who tied himself to one of the van’s front tires.

Federal immigration authorities in at least 6 states have launched a new series of raids and traffic stops, targeting undocumented communities, shortly after Trump’s January 25 Executive Order expanded deportation priorities to include any undocumented immigrants convicted of a criminal offense. This marks a shift from President Obama’s administration, which had prioritized the deportation of violent offenders or those with ties to criminal gangs.

It is important for members of the undocumented community to know that you have rights, regardless of your status. If immigration officials come to your home, do not open the door unless they show you a warrant, and you are under no obligation to say anything or sign anything without speaking to a lawyer first.

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