PHOENIX – The detention of an illegal immigrant sparked a protest Wednesday outside U.S. Immigration and Customs office in Phoenix that resulted in seven arrests as crowds blocked ICE buses on nearby streets, reported Fox10 Phoenix.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, arrived at the office for her routine check in, but instead of being released—under President Trump’s illegal immigration crackdown—she was detained.
Illegal immigrant with felony conviction
Garcia de Rayos, 36, was considered a “low priority” for deportation under the Obama administration and had to check in with ICE officials every six months following a 2008 conviction for felony identity theft for having false papers, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“Ms. Garcia de Rayos is currently being detained by ICE based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013,” an ICE statement read.
News of her detainment spread. Protesters were seen attempting to block the ICE van Garcia de Rayos was believed to be inside. Some protesters chanted, “Shame on you.”
Puente Arizona Director Carlos Garcia said the arrest was in direct result of Trump’s illegal immigration crackdown.
“We all knew something could be different this time with the new administration,” Garcia told the Los Angeles Times. “She went in with the lawyer and didn’t come out. That was pretty much all there was.”
Although demonstrations were described as peaceful, police posted on Twitter that they arrested about seven protesters.
“Besides the few people engaged in criminal acts, most people out here are peaceful and exercising their rights properly,” police said. “Everyone remains safe so far. Hoping for continued cooperation and no more criminal conduct.”
By 1 a.m. Thursday, less than two-dozen protesters stood in the dark outside the building talking quietly. There were with just a handful of police officers nearby.
The president’s Jan. 25 executive order expanded deportation priorities to any illegal immigrants that had been convicted of a crime, regardless of its severity. The Obama administration previously prioritized violent offenders, according to Fox News.
Garcia de Rayos’ family fears she will be deported. Puente Arizona had filed a stay in Garcia de Rayos’ removal, but it was denied.
(Feature image is file photo)