Protests, arrests in Phoenix as deportations to Mexico expand
PHOENIX — Police made several arrests as protesters blocked enforcement vans from leaving a U.S. immigration office in Phoenix late Wednesday Feb. 8, fearing that a mother of two was headed for deportation.
The protest surged at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility after Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was taken into custody during a routine check-in with the agency, according to media reports.
The activists said it was an attempt by President Donald Trump’s administration to deport immigrants living in the country illegally who had previously not been a priority for deportation under the Obama administration, the Associated Press reported.
Fearing the 36-year-old woman’s return to Mexico, dozens of immigration activists blocked the gates surrounding the office near central Phoenix in what the Arizona Republic said was an effort to stop several vans and a bus from leaving.
The protesters said Garcia de Rayos was in one of the vehicles, which were used to transport people in ICE custody to detention centers, or to Arizona’s border with Mexico for deportation. A Republic photo identified a woman looking through one of the vehicle windows covered by security screening as Garcia de Rayos.
Police, meanwhile, took positions around the building and confronted some of the demonstrators, many who chanted “Justice!”
Police posted on Twitter that they arrested about seven protesters, but added that the demonstration was mainly peaceful.
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