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Undocumented immigrant deported after ICE detainment in Arizona

(Cronkite News Photo)

PHOENIX — An undocumented immigrant detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement overnight in Arizona was deported Thursday, an attorney said.

“Guadalupe (Garcia de Rayos) is in Nogales, Sonora. She’s been deported,” Carlos Garcia with Puente Arizona said during a call with media.

De Rayos was taken into custody on Wednesday during a biannual check-in. Her detention sparked a large protest outside of ICE headquarters.

De Rayos was reunited with her family and supporters in Nogales on Thursday, where she held a short press conference in Spanish.

She said she knew President Donald Trump’s executive order — which made all illegal immigrants, regardless of the crime, the focus of deportation efforts — could affect her, but she did not try to hide.

De Rayos also encouraged other families to speak out and send a message to Trump that deportations are not only hurting immigrants, but they are hurting their children too.

Garcia pointed to the incident as a direct reflection of the severity of Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, saying, “ICE has done what President Trump wanted to, which is deport and separate our families.”

The Mexican government also commented on de Rayos’ deportation, calling it the “new reality” that immigrants face.

Officials warned other Mexicans in the U.S. to be cautious, aware of their rights and to stay in contact with their local consulate.

De Rayos was found guilty of felony identity theft following a 2008 raid on her workplace by then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. She was allowed to remain in the country, so long as she checked in with immigration officials, under an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama.

De Rayos has been in the country illegally since she was 14 and had been considered a low priority for deportation by the Obama Administration. She is the mother of two children, both teenagers.

ICE said in a statement Thursday de Rayos was designated for deportation in 2013.

“Ms. Garcia (de Rayos), who has a prior felony conviction in Arizona for criminal impersonation, was the subject of a court-issued removal order that became final in July 2013,” the statement read, in part.

When asked by media about de Rayos’ case, Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to address the issue and said reporters should ask ICE.

KTAR News’ Martha Maurer and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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