The sudden and unexpected deportation of undocumented Mexican immigrant Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos has sparked fears that President Donald Trump is beginning to fulfill his campaign promise to expel 11 million people from the United States.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which deported Garcia de Rayos from Arizona to Mexico on Thursday, contends there was nothing special about her case and that the move does not signify a heightened crackdown on undocumented immigrants. However, immigrant advocates, and even the Mexican government, are skeptical.
“The case involving Mrs. Garcia de Rayos illustrates a new reality for the Mexican community living in the United States, facing the most severe implementation of immigration control measures,” Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.
The ministry also warned Mexican citizens living in the United States to “take precautions.”
Immigrant advocates made similar statements and began circulating fliers designed to inform undocumented immigrants of their rights.
‘Know your rights’
The ACLU circulated English and Spanish fliers on social media instructing people in danger of deportation what to do if ICE agents come to their doors. Among the tips: “If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge and if so, ask to see it (through a window or slipped under the door).”
‘Fight your case’
United We Dream, which says it’s the “largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation,” also shared fliers on social media instructing undocumented immigrants how to interact with ICE agents and even fight back.
“Get a trustworthy attorney & explore all options to fight your case,” the flier reads. “If detained, you may be able to get bail – don’t give up hope!”
Their fliers were made available in English and Spanish, along with Arabic, Chinese and Korean.
Have a plan
In the wake of the news, advocates also resurfaced a rights flier and ICE Raids Toollkit previously published by the Immigration Defense Project, which works for legal justice for immigrants in the United States.
The two-page flier provides detailed advice on what an undocumented person should do if stopped by an ICE agent. Among the tips: “Don’t lie or show false documents” and “remain silent.”