More than a half-dozen people were arrested Wednesday night while protesting the impending deportation of an illegal Mexican immigrant.
The Phoenix Police Department announced on Twitter that it had taken seven individuals into custody. The tweet said that all of the arrests were made “without force” and that no one was hurt during the protests.
About 7 arrests made without force. Everyone remains safe so far. Hoping for continued cooperation and no more criminal conduct.
— Phoenix Police (@phoenixpolice) February 9, 2017
Protesters stood outside the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office all afternoon and evening Wednesday, voicing their opposition to 36-year-old Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos being deported back to Mexico.
Garcia was convicted in 2009 of felony identity theft while working at an Arizona amusement park, KPNX-TV reported. Garcia’s 2009 arrest was the result of a series of workplace raids conducted in 2008 under the direction of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Garcia’s felony conviction required her to check in with immigration enforcement authorities each year after that, which is what she was doing when she was detained Wednesday, according to the New York Times.
Garcia was first ordered to be deported in 2013 but a 2014 executive order, issued by former President Barack Obama, shielded her and about five million other illegal immigrants from having to leave the country. But a new executive action issued by Trump Jan. 25 ordered federal authorities to “detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further proceedings regarding those violations.”
Protesters lined the street outside the federal enforcement and removal operations field office in Phoenix Wednesday, where it was believed Garcia was being held. KPNX-TV reported the demonstrators blocked traffic and even forced a light rail train to stop.
Protesters were also photographed standing in front of a number of white ICE vans, which were carrying multiple individuals scheduled for deportation. One protester was even seen sitting on the ground, extending one of his arms around a tire. A sign reading, “Not one more deportation” leaned against one of the vehicles.
— Carlos Chavez (@azphotoeditor1) February 9, 2017
It’s believed that Garcia was in one of the vans while being transported from Phoenix to Florence, Arizona, for processing. Garcia’s deportation to Mexico was scheduled for Thursday, KPNX-TV reported.
A spokeswoman for ICE confirmed to KPNX-TV that Garcia was, in fact, being deported, but did not say when the action was scheduled to occur.
A representative for ICE did not immediately respond to TheBlaze Thursday when asked about the timing of Garcia’s deportation.