Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos Becomes One of the First to be Deported Under Trump

On Thursday morning, Guadalupe “Lupita” Garcia de Rayos, after living in the U.S. for 21 years, became one of the first people deported under Trump’s executive orders on immigration.

In a 2008 immigration raid at the water park where she worked, Lupita was arrested for using a forged social security number to gain employment. After spending months in a county jail and then an immigration center, she was ordered to be deported back to Mexico, however federal authorities under the Obama administration decided not to act on her deportation, which effectively put her case on hold. As a result of her arrest, she was required to check in annually at her local federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for a case review. For the past eight years these meetings have been generally brief, but this changed on Wednesday when she was arrested, and held in ICE’s custody until early Thursday morning when she was deported.

Trump has issued and signed two new executive orders concerning immigration, one which laid out his plans for building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. In the border wall order, the Trump administration also expanded the definition of which crimes are considered deportable offenses, from violent crimes to any offense at all. Even migrants who have only been charged – not convicted – of a crime are now priorities for deportation. While to some, this definition change may seem minor, it immediately instructed ICE to prioritize all unauthorized immigrants, regardless of whether they were violent offenders or had a speeding ticket on their record. It ultimately lead to Lupita being deported and will lead to the same fate for millions of other people.

In an act of resistance after Lupita’s arrest, activists, including her children, led a direct action outside of the ICE headquarters. Protesters fought back by blocking traffic around the building to prevent the transport van from leaving with Lupita and the other bus passengers. One activist even locked himself to the wheel well of the bus. Towards the end of the day police intervened, arresting seven protesters and escorting the ICE vehicle off the premises through an alternate exit.

While Lupita has become one of the first to be deported under Trump’s anti-undocumented people policies, if kept in place, she will most certainly not be the last person. According to the Los Angeles Times, immigration experts have estimated that up to 8 million of the 11.1 undocumented immigrants in the nation could be considered top priorities for deportation under Trump. With this devastating reality, we must take the lead of Lupita’s daughter and the protesters who put their bodies on the line to fight against her deportation. We have to continue fighting harder than ever for undocumented people, their rights, and well-being.

Header via 12 news.

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South. She holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology from Georgia State University, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from her alma mater. She is a member on the board of directors of Access Reproductive Care – Southeast, and is a former content creator for the The Body Is Not An Apology. As a femme, feminist, and queer Black woman, it is through her lived experiences and complex identities that Quita has come to believe in the power of storytelling and the validation of lived experiences.

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South.

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