Column: The deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos

Irfan Khan and Irfan Khan | The Daily Wildcat ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations unit raid to apprehend immigrants without any legal status and who may be deportable on Aug. 12, 2015 in Riverside, Calif. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they are relying more than ever on costly manhunts to locate immigrants in the country illegally who have criminal records. In the past, the agency would simply contact local jails where such immigrants were being detained and ask jail officials to hold them until an ICE van could pick them up, but hundreds of counties across the country stopped honoring such requests after a federal judge last year found that practice unconstitutional. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

A campaigning Donald Trump said “We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets,” last year in Phoenix. It looks like he has now decided to enforce his policy—maybe for the first time in Arizona—on the 35-year-old mother of two Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos. 

Guadalupe came from Acámbaro, a city in the southern corner of the state of Guanajuato on its border with Michoacán, and at the age of 14 she found herself crossing into Arizona from Nogales. She married her husband, also an undocumented immigrant in Arizona, and they had two children, Jacqueline and Angel. Guadalupe’s first run-in with the law was under the Obama administration in 2008 at Golfland Sunsplash a water park at which she worked in Mesa, Arizona.

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Her arrest was during one of many raids ordered by the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio. Guadalupe was arrested, along with many other undocumented immigrants, for using a fake Social Security number. Ever since that day eight years ago she has been required to attend ICE meetings.

Guadalupe, who was aware of what might happen after Trump was elected, went in to have her regular meeting with ICE after she attended mass on Feb. 8. She walked in with an attorney and surrounded by a group of volunteers from Puente, Arizona that morning and was not seen the rest of the day, until that night. When she was being loaded into a van to be taken to an unknown location.

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The want of a better life for family, giving to their children what they never had, isn’t that what every parent wants for their children? How can this country go on to punish hard working people instead of trying to help them? What has happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?” Are these no longer the values of the United States?

This country has changed, especially in recent weeks. We find ourselves in a hate-fueled country, with mosques being burned to the ground and mothers being torn from their children. The zenophobia of the newly appointed leaders of this country is a far worse crime than an immigrants willingness to sacrifice it all for family.

Follow Chuck Valadez on Twitter.

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