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Arizona woman deported to Mexico despite complying with immigration officials

13 February 2017

Seven people were arrested Wednesday night at a protest aimed at impeding the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, who was detained after checking in for her regular appointment at a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix.

Under President Donald Trump's executive order, undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a criminal offense are considered a priority.

Under a new executive order that President Trump signed on 25 January, Garcia de Rayos had become a priority for deportation.

(Garcia) "It's a nightmare, having your mother taken away from you".

Her teenage daughter Jacqueline has vowed to battle on to reunite a family that has been torn apart.

Mexico warned its citizens living in the United States on Friday to "take precautions" and remain in contact with consular officials a day after the deportation of an undocumented mother following a routine visit with USA immigration authorities.

Ms Rayos was 14 when she left Acambaro, a city in an impoverished corner of the Mexican state of Guanajuato, and sneaked across the border into Nogales, Arizona, a three-hour drive from Phoenix. In 2008, she was arrested for impersonation, following a raid by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and was subsequently charged with a felony.

Garcia de Rayos was among workers arrested years ago in one of then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's first investigations into Phoenix-area businesses suspected of hiring immigrants who had used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.

Puente volunteers accompanied Garcia de Rayos to the ICE office, and dozens of activists held a prayer vigil for her on Wednesday evening.

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There are 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the USA today and while it's unclear exactly how many will be affected by the order, there are already clear signs that large swaths of the community at risk.

"She's working. She's supporting her family", Carroll said.

However, when she went for an immigration check-in this week, she was detained.

A Mesa mom who was ordered deported during an immigration check-in Wednesday is likely to be back in Mexico Thursday, according to her attorney. She arrived at ICE with her two USA -born children and her husband.

In an earlier Thursday press release, ICE said de Rayos was designated for deportation in 2013.

News of her scheduled deportation spread like wildfire, largely because she seemed the opposite of the undocumented immigrants Trump had pledged to focus on-"people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers", as he told 60 Minutes in November. It lost the case on appeal, but Arpaio disbanded the task force that conducted the raids.

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

Activists said it was not immediately clear if she had been moved out of the centre later on, after some vehicles were seen leaving the grounds via another exit.

Mr Trump's far-reaching executive orders have also suspended refugee resettlement and blocked individuals from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the US.

Arizona woman deported to Mexico despite complying with immigration officials