Several people were arrested during protests in Arizona on Wednesday night over a woman facing deportation.
The case has been viewed as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s recent expansion of immigration laws.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an undocumented immigrant, was visiting a local Immigration Customs and Enforcement office in Phoenix for a yearly review on Wednesday. The meetings stemmed from a 2009 criminal case in which Rayos was convicted of using a phony Social Security number for employment, The New York Times reported.
A judge had ordered her deportation in 2013, but she was allowed to stay in the US because the Obama administration generally limited deportations to undocumented immigrants who committed serious crimes or had ties to criminal organisations, The Times’ Fernanda Santos wrote.
During Rayos’ meeting on Wednesday, officers arrested her and prepared her for deportation.
Protesters saw the move as directly related to one of Trump’s executive orders called “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” which contains a section that gives immigration officials broader latitude to detain and deport people who are in the US illegally.
Rayos is a married mother of two. She has been in the US for more than 20 years, several local media outlets reported.
“Ms. Garcia de Rayos is currently being detained by ICE based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013,” the agency said in a statement cited by the Los Angeles Times.
Protesters surrounded a van carrying Rayos and other immigration detainees on Wednesday night.
Trump has made immigration crackdowns a cornerstone of his presidency. In late January, he issued an executive order meant to stop refugees from entering the US for 120 days and banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.
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