The deportation of Guadalupe García de Rayos in Phoenix, Arizona, may be giving the undocumented population in the U.S. its first sense of what the next four years will feel like. Rayos is a 35-year-old mother of two who has lived in the U.S. for 21 years. In 2008, local deputies caught her using a fake social security number after they raided her work, and since then she has been required by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to show up at regular interviews. Every year she’s talked to an agent, then been released back to her family in the U.S. But Wednesday Rayos was arrested, and on Thursday agents put her in a van to be deported back to Mexico.
In January, President Trump signed an executive order that vastly expands who the U.S. considers a deportation priority. The order received little immediate media attention at the time of signing, likely because of the many other controversial orders the president released simultaneously. The order is full of vague language, and interpreting it has left a lot of questions as to what’s in store for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. Trump’s administration has said the changes were done to make the U.S. safer, ridding communities of criminals. This may, in part, be true, but it will be so because Trump’s order greatly increased the number of people considered criminals worthy of deportation. An estimate from the Los Angeles Times says Trump’s order could include as many as 8 million undocumented immigrants, all of whom would be eligible for deportation at any moment.