PHOENIX — Protesters gathered at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Phoenix on Wednesday night, after a Phoenix woman was allegedly taken into custody by federal officials following a routine immigration check.
The Los Angeles Times reported Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, was taken into custody by ICE officials Wednesday morning after participating in her mandatory check-in.
The arrest sparked a large protest at the department’s field office in Phoenix, leading protesters to huddle around an ICE van that Garcia was placed in and chant phrases like, “Shame on you!” to prevent her deportation.
The protesters went to extreme lengths to prevent Garcia’s deportation, even placing their bodies in front of the vehicle.
Phoenix police arrested “about seven” people without force, according to a tweet.
Police tweeted that additional “arrests are imminent” after some protesters chose “criminal conduct instead of free speech.”
Garcia has been in the country illegally since she was 14 and had been considered a low priority for deportation by the Obama Administration.
She was arrested in 2008 during a workplace raid ordered by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and was later convicted of felony identity theft for possessing false papers.
Despite her conviction, she was allowed to live in Arizona with her two children and checked in with ICE officials every six months.
But when Garcia, who worked at Mesa’s Golfland Sunsplash, arrived for her scheduled meeting she was arrested, the Times reported.
Immigration advocates, including Puente Arizona Director Carlos Garcia, pointed to the incident as a direct reflection of the severity of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
“We all knew something could be different this time with the new administration,” Garcia said in an interview with the Times. “She went in with the lawyer and didn’t come out. That was pretty much all there was.”