UPDATE, 1:31 pm: Rayos’ attorney confirmed to Fusion that Rayos was deported this morning.
Seven people were arrested late Wednesday evening as they tried to stop the arrest of longtime Phoenix resident Guadalupe “Lupita” Garcia de Rayos, a 36-year-old mother who may be among the first undocumented immigrants set for deportation under Trump’s harsh new policies.
A group of protesters, including her two teenage children, chanted “liberation, not deportation” as they surrounded a van for nearly three hours to keep it from leaving an Arizona immigration center with Rayos inside, an organizer, who asked not to be named, told Fusion. One protester, Manuel Saldana, bound himself to the van’s tire.
The organizer, who works with Puente Arizona, an immigrant advocacy group involved in the protest, said Rayos’ kids felt “really betrayed,” especially after mayor Greg Stanton announced last week he would not make Phoenix a sanctuary city.
“It’s not fair that my mom might be taken away for providing for my family,” Rayos’ daughter Jacqueline said in a statement.
Rayos, who has lived in the United States since she was 14, was detained after checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Wednesday, the agency confirmed. It was supposed to be a regular case review, something she has been required to do since 2008, when she was caught using a fake social security number to work at a water park. She was arrested during a workplace raid ordered by then-sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious racial profiler, according to The New York Times.
That offense—which left Garcia with a felony conviction for identity theft—made her a low priority for deportation under Obama. But Trump has granted officials sweeping new authority to detain and investigate undocumented immigrants.
Under Trump’s policies, an estimated eight million immigrants could be targeted— around five times as many as under Obama. “Those are numbers that are high enough that even people outside of the immigrant community will notice their neighbors are missing,” organizer Tania Unzueta told Fusion this week.
On Thursday afternoon, Rayos’ attorney confirmed on a call with organizers and reporters that she had been deported to Mexico.