The Latest: Mexico warns immigrants about deportations

AP News
Posted: Feb 09, 2017 9:57 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the case of a Phoenix immigrant whose arrests by immigration authorities prompted protests (all times local):

8 p.m.

The Mexican government says the deportation of a Phoenix mother who had been living in the country illegally but has American-born children is the "new reality" immigrants face.

Mexico's foreign relations department said in a statement on Thursday that the removal of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is an example of more severe immigration enforcement.

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

Garcia de Rayos was deported to Mexico on Thursday after being granted leniency by President Barack Obama's administration policies that aimed to target violent criminals or people who pose a threat to national security.

She pleaded guilty in March 2009 to criminal impersonation after being arrested following workplace immigration raids by then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.


7:15 p.m.

A Phoenix mother deported on Thursday after reporting to a routine check-in with immigration authorities says she doesn't regret showing up even though she knew it was a risk.

Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is now in Nogales, Mexico, where she said during a press conference that she will continue to fight for her family.

Garcia de Rayos was deported in the morning, several hours after protesters blocked an Immigration and Customs Enforcement van carrying her from leaving the downtown Phoenix offices.

Garcia de Rayos' two U.S.-citizen children were next to her during the evening news conference. They will continue to live in the U.S.

Garcia had previously been allowed to stay in the country because of President Barack Obama's administration policies that targeted violent criminals.


1:55 p.m.

Federal immigration authorities say they will continue to focus on deporting immigrants with felony convictions and that a Phoenix-area woman deported amid protests had no legal right to stay in the U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that agents worked with Mexican consular officials on Thursday's deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos.

Her husband Aaron Rayos says his wife is now in Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, across the border from Arizona. He says she is waiting for her parents to arrive there from the south-central Mexican state of Guanajuato to meet her.

She arrived in the U.S. over 20 years ago and has two American-citizen children.

Garcia de Rayos was among the workers arrested in one of then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's first investigations into Phoenix-area businesses suspected of hiring immigrants who had used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.


12 p.m.

An immigrant mother who was granted leniency under the Obama administration has been deported to Mexico in a sign of how President Donald Trump will carry through on his campaign promises on immigration.

The lawyer for Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos and an immigrant advocacy group say they learned from Mexican diplomats in the U.S. that she had been taken back to Mexico.

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The Phoenix mother was in the country illegally and checked in Wednesday for what she thought was a routine meeting with Immigration, Customs and Enforcement officials. They then moved to deport her, prompting protests.

Seven people were arrested after they blocked ICE vans from leaving a Phoenix location.


11:25 p.m.

Police arrested several protesters Wednesday night after they blocked enforcement vans from leaving an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Phoenix.

Media reports say the protest surged after a Mesa mother was taken into custody after a routine check-in with the agency.

Apparently fearing her deportation, activists blocked the gates surrounding the office near central Phoenix in what the Arizona Republic says was an effort to block several vans and a bus inside from leaving.

The paper says that Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos apparently was in one of the vehicles, which are used to transport people in ICE custody to detention centers, or to the border for deportation.

After 9 p.m., police officers amassed on the south side of the facility as protesters continued to block access, chanting "Justice!" and "Power to the people, no one is illegal!"

Police posted on Twitter that they arrested about seven protesters, but they added that most of the protesters were peaceful.