A Mexican woman who has been in the United States for more than 20 years has been deported, making her one of the first undocumented workers to be removed from the United States under a new executive action by President Trump.
Guadalupe García de Rayos, 36, a mother of two, was taken into custody Wednesday by immigration agents during a check-in at the Phoenix offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE confirmed that Rayos had been deported to Mexico on Thursday morning, saying in a statement reported by local media that her case "underwent review at multiple levels of the immigration court system, including the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the judges held she did not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S."
The case surrounding Rayos, who left Mexico at the age of 14, had earned national attention because she had been in the United States for so long, because she has regularly been checking in with a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for the last eight years, and because she appears to be the first person effected by the Trump order.
Rayos was caught at her workplace in a raid using a fake Social Security number, and had been checking in with the ICE office since 2008. A judge had issued a deportation order against her in 2013, but she was not sent back to Mexico because the Obama administration prioritized removing people deemed to be threats to U.S. safety.
Since Rayos had not committed any serious felony offenses, she was not seen as a threat.
Under an order issued by Trump, undocumented workers who have committed chargeable criminal offenses are prioritized for deportation. The fake Social Security number used by Rayos is a criminal offense.
"Lupita has been doing yearly check-ins with ICE and nothing happened," said Lucy Sandoval, an activist who has been working with Rayos's family, according to CNN. "But this is a different time."
CNN, quoting immigration officials, said she had been detained "based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013."
People were protesting against her deportation as a van carrying Rayos left the ICE building, according to The New York Times. People were chanting "Liberation, not deportation."
Her attorney told CNN affiliate KNXV-TV that she could be the first Arizonan deported under the Trump order.
“We’re living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants,” Rayos’s lawyer, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, said Wednesday.
Updated: 3:28 p.m.