After an Arizona wife and mother of two was deported to Mexico, her family has vowed to continue fighting for her safe return to the U.S.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 35, an undocumented immigrant, was detained in Phoenix Wednesday and deported to her native Mexico 24 hours later after years of being allowed to stay.
"We need my mother back with us and we're going to keep on fighting,” her 16-year-old son Angel Rayos Garcia chanted. “We want her back, back in our arms. We want her back, over here where she belongs. She belongs with us."
Both of her children are U.S.-born citizens. In a Thursday press conference from Nogales, Mexico, she called them the reason she had come to the United States.
"For my children, for a better future […] I don’t regret it, because I did it for love," she said.
She arrived to the United States with her parents when she was 14.
In 2008, she was arrested during a raid at a Mesa water park, where officials discovered she had been working under a fake Social Security number. She was later convicted of felony criminal impersonation. Her lawyer claimed she didn't know the woman whose identity she was accused of stealing.
“I think it's unfair that they just took her away just because she was working in order to support us,” Jacqueline said.
Although Maldonado reportedly recommended she look for sanctuary instead of checking in on this visit, Guadalupe reportedly wanted to confront the issue head on.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tweeted: “ICE will remove illegal aliens convicted of felony offenses as ordered by an immigration judge.”
Her lawyer did not dispute that Guadalupe was a convicted felon, but insisted they will continue to fight to bring her back into the country.