Rayos came to America illegally at the age of fourteen twenty years or so ago; she eventually married another illegal immigrant, and raised two American-born children, now teenagers.
She used a fake social security number on her papers and got a job working at a water park; in 2008 she was caught up in a raid, the outcome of which was that she was required to attend annual meetings with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, pretty much like a parolee checking in with their parole officer.
She attended her check-ins as required, and was never deported because she was low risk: working, married, two citizen-children, that kind of thing. Even after a deportation order was issued in 2013, the government made no move to deport her, but allowed her to continue making her check-ins as required.
Unlike some 2,000,000 illegal immigrants, Rayos was never considered a priority deportation under the 'deporter-in-chief's' administration (that would be Obama), but things are different now. Very different.
Her ICE check-in this time became detention, and deportation, and separation from her children, and the likelihood that she will not be allowed to return, or that the process for her to return will take so long as to make it almost moot.
President Trump signed an executive order in January ordering a crack down on illegal immigration, including
removable aliens who: (a) have been convicted of any criminal offense; (b) have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved; (c) have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; (d) have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency (e) have abused any program related to the receipt of public benefits (f) are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States or (g) in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.As an outcome of that order, it seems, ICE has conducted "sweeping immigration raids" in several states, according to this article.
Now, obviously, Rayos meets the guidelines under the EO for deportation; the fact that she was allowed to stay under two previous administrations notwithstanding, she was here illegally, she had faked credentials for work, and there was a deportation order against her.
But what message have we sent when we officially allow her and others similarly situated, with children who are legally citizens, to stay for years? And what is to become of her children? Are we to simply say too bad, so sad, especially if their father reads the tea leaves and decides to leave? Do we have the kids hang out on welfare and other benefits because they have no means of support? Do we send them to Mexico to live with their parents?
These are the questions that need to be considered in any comprehensive immigration reform, something that Congress understands but that our businessman president might not. Sure, we can throw every single illegal immigrant out of the country - of course we can, and it is within our rights to do so.
But is that really what we need to be doing now, without any legislation that outlines a plan to deal with all of the nuances, and by nuances, I do mean children, among other things, that are in play here?