An hour after Guadalupe García de Rayos was deported from the United States on Thursday, her 14-year-old girl stood in front of cameras and microphones fighting back tears.
“I honestly don’t have any words,” Jaqueline Rayos García said, speaking at a press conference.
For the past eight years, Garcia’s mother, who had lived in the U.S. for 21 years, had routinely checked in with immigration officials and was allowed to walk free because she was not considered a priority for deportation. But on Wednesday, she went to a check-in at the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in downtown Phoenix on and never returned. ICE officials detained her and deported her hours later because she was caught using a fake Social Security number during a raid at the water park where she worked. She was sent to Nogales, Mexico.
Speaking to reporters, her attorney Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado said he believes that executive orders recently signed by President Donald Trump led to her deportation.
“I think it’s unfair that they just took her away just because she was working in order to support us,” Garcia said at the press conference as she stood in front of her father and brother.
She told reporters her heart sunk when she learned she had to pack her mother’s suitcase.
“No one should go through their mother’s clothes and think oh, is she going to need this or that,” Garcia said. “No one, no one, should go to through the pain of packing [their mother’s] suitcase.”
She continued: “It’s just sad to see what this world has come to, especially with the new president we have now.”
In a statement sent to Fusion, an ICE spokesperson said: “Ms. [García de Rayos’] immigration 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.”
Garcia’s mother is one of the estimated eight million undocumented immigrants who have suddenly become priorities for deportation under the Trump administration–more than five times the number of immigrants the Obama administration targeted.
“I’m here and I’m going to keep on fighting for my mom and other families that are going through the same thing,” Garcia said at the press conference.
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