Ray Ybarra Maldonado said the undocumented woman was taken into custody Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona, when she stopped in for a routine check at a U.S. immigration office.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, had checked in with U.S. immigration authorities every year since 2008, when she was stopped for using a fake Social Security number during a raid on a water park where she worked. In past visits, she answered questions that were put to her and went home.
But when Rayos went in for her meeting Wednesday, she was arrested and deportation proceedings were begun. She had lived in the U.S. for more than 22 years.
During a news conference, Maldonado said he had filed a stay of deportation on Wednesday.
“Yesterday at 5:30 [p.m.], I was told the decision would come shortly. And here it is this morning, and those cowards have yet to even return my call, even send me an email, to give me any information about why they denied our stay,” he added.
A statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the deportation was “based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013. Relevant databases indicate Ms. Garcia de Rayos has a prior felony conviction dating from March 2009 for criminal impersonation.”
“ICE will remove illegal aliens convicted of felony offenses as ordered by an immigration judge,” the agency said in series of tweets after the media reported the deportation.