PHOENIX - Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, the Mesa mother of two whose deportation proceedings sparked protests in Phoenix Wednesday night, was in Mexico as of Thursday morning, according to her attorney, Ray Ybarra Maldonado.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that officers removed Garcia to Mexico around 10 a.m. through the Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. ICE said, in a statement, that they coordinated her deportation with Mexican consular representatives.
Garcia, 35, was detained Wednesday during an immigration check-in in Phoenix.
She was convicted of felony identity theft in 2009 for working at the Golfland Sunsplash amusement park in Mesa.
ICE released the following statement on Thursday:
Ms. Garcia, 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. Ms. Garcia’s 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. ICE will continue to focus on identifying and removing individuals with felony convictions who have final orders of removal issued by the nation’s immigration courts.
PHOTOS: Protesters block deportation van at ICE Phoenix headquarters
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released a statement Thursday saying what happened to Garcia is a "travesty" and that it shows President Trump’s order "makes our country less safe."
"Rather than tracking down violent criminals and drug dealers, ICE is spending its energy deporting a woman with two American children who has lived here for more than two decades and poses a threat to nobody," he said.
Stanton also sent a message to Secretary John Kelly who is in Arizona Thursday:
Do much more than go to the border to stare at the fence and take photos. Take a much closer look around. Look at how immigration has benefited our state and our culture. Try to understand how closely our economy and that of Mexico are linked, and what will happen to our state if we lose 100,000 jobs tied to exports with Mexico and Latin America because of the President’s antagonism. President Trump is tearing families apart, undermining public safety and will ultimately hurt our economy.
A crowd of supporters blocked Central Avenue and a light-rail train in Phoenix Wednesday night.
Police identified the seven people who were arrested late Wednesday as 31-year-old Manuel Saldana, 57-year-old Beth King, 36-year-old Angeles Maldonado, 23-year-old Maria Castro, 41-year-old Kenneth Chapman and 37-year-old Luke Black.