MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government on Monday said that the case of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, who was deported to Mexico after living for about 20 years in Arizona, shows the new US priorities under the presidency of Donald Trump, but it added that – so far – there has been no increase in deportations.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray told Televisa that Garcia de Rayos’ deportation was conducted “faster” than normal, so much so that “there was no time for the (Mexican) consul to arrive” in the area, a fact that demonstrates that there has been “a change in (Washington’s) priorities.”
The case of Garcia de Rayos, who is married with two children, is becoming a symbol of the recognition of Latino migrants’ rights in the US in the Trump era.
Under the new US executive orders, immigrants such as Garcia de Rayos have become a deportation priority, in her case because of a criminal charge filed against her for working under a Social Security number that did not belong to her.
The Mexican migrant in 2008 was the target of one of the controversial immigration raids by the then-sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio.
She was charged with identity theft and using false documents, which immediately triggered deportation proceedings, although immigration authorities determined that her case was not “high priority.”
Since then, she had showed up at routine annual hearings until Feb. 8, when she was finally deported to Mexico.
Videgaray said that Mexican authorities have no “reports of an increase” in the number of deportations, adding that the phenomenon “is showing the same trend as last year, or even slightly lower” at 11 sites from where deportations are made.
There is also no “systematic report indicating that there has been a change in procedures” on the part of the US immigration authorities.
The foreign secretary also said that remittances sent to Mexico by Mexican immigrants in the US “continue to flow completely normally” adding that the Mexican government has told the Trump administration that it considers that to be a “critical” point.