Deported Mesa Mom

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Phoenix-based New York Times reporter Fernanda Santos spent time with Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos after she was deported to Nogales, Mexico. Hear from Santos about what the Mesa Mom had to say.

COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," HEAR FROM A NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER WHO MET WITH THE DEPORTED MESA MOTHER OF TWO. ALSO TONIGHT: CHANDLER'S MAYOR TALKS ABOUT INTEL'S EAST VALLEY EXPANSION PLANS. AND A LOCAL DOG IS POISED TO COMPETE AT THE WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

"ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO" "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. THE OWNERS OF THE COAL-FIRED NAVAJO GENERATING STATION VOTED TODAY TO KEEP THE PLANT OPEN UNTIL THE END OF 2019. THE PLANT'S OWNERS CONSIDERED SHUTTING DOWN THE FACILITY DUE TO LOWER ELECTRICITY COSTS GENERATED FROM NATURAL-GAS FIRED POWER PLANTS. SHUTTING DOWN THE NAVAJO GENERATING STATION, OR NGS, WOULD MEAN THE LOSS OF OVER 800-JOBS FILLED MOSTLY BY NAVAJO AND HOPI TRIBAL MEMBERS. THE PLANT'S FOUR-UTILITY OWNERS INCLUDE APS, SRP, TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER AND NEVADA ENERGY. IN A STATEMENT, SRP SAID THAT, QUOTE, "THE UTILITY OWNERS DO NOT MAKE THIS DECISION LIGHTLY. NGS AND ITS EMPLOYEES ARE ONE REASON WHY THIS REGION, THE STATE OF ARIZONA AND THE PHOENIX METROPOLITAN AREA HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GROW AND THRIVE. HOWEVER, SRP HAS AN OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE LOW-COST SERVICE TO OUR MORE THAN 1-MILLION CUSTOMERS AND THE HIGHER COST OF OPERATING NGS WOULD BE BORNE BY OUR CUSTOMERS." THE NEXT STEP IS TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH THE NAJAVO NATION ON KEEPING THE PLANT RUNNING THROUGH 2019.

TED SIMONS: THE DEPORTATION OF A MESA MOTHER OF TWO CONTINUES TO MAKE HEADLINES, INCLUDING IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, WHERE TIMES REPORTER FERNANDA SANTOS HAS BEEN COVERING THE STORY. THAT COVERAGE INCLUDES AN INTERVIEW WITH GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS AFTER SHE WAS DEPORTED TO NOGALES, MEXICO LAST WEEK. JOINING US NOW IS NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER FERNANDA SANTOS.

TED SIMONS: GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

FERNANDA SANTOS: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: LET'S DO BACKGROUND HERE. WHO IS GUADALUPE GARCIA DE REYES?

FERNANDA SANTOS: SHE'S 35 YEARS OLD. SHE CAME TO AMERICA WHEN SHE WAS 14 WITH HER PARENTS FROM GUANJUATO. THE PARENTS WANTED A BETTER LIFE FOR HER. SHE DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL IN THE SIXTH GRADE, CAME HERE AND STARTED WORKING RIGHT AWAY. SHE GOT MARRIED, HAD TWO CHILDREN, BOTH U.S. CITIZENS. IN 2008, SHE WAS WORKING IN A WATERPARK IN MESA, THE GOLF LAND SPLASH. THAT WAS A LOCATION RAIDED BY THEN SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO. THEY TOOK THE EMPLOYMENT RECORDS. AS YOU MAY RECALL BACK THEN, THE STATE ENACTED A LAW PROVIDING FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST EMPLOYERS THAT KNOWINGLY HIRED UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS. SHE WAS ONE OF NINE CAUGHT IN THE RAID. SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES CAME TO HER HOUSE AND ARRESTED HER. SHE WAS CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL IDENTIFICATION SHE WAS USING A FAKE SOCIAL SERVICE NUMBER TO WORK. SHE DIDN'T STEAL THE NUMBER TO USE IT FOR A CREDIT CARD NUMBER, BUT SHE USED THE NUMBER ON HER JOB APPLICATION.

TED SIMONS: SO BACAILLY IN 2008 USING THE FAKE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, 3 MONTHS IN COUNTY JAIL, 3 MONTHS IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION, SO THE COURT DID ISSUE A DEPORTATION REMOVAL, CORRECT?

FERNANDA SANTOS: SELF-YEARS LATER IN 2013 AFTER HER APPEALS WERE EXHAUSTED, SHE WAS ISSUED A DEPORTATION ISSUE BUT IT WAS NOT ACTED UPON UNTIL LAST WEEK. SHE HAD BEEN SHOWING UP AT I.C.E. FOR THE PRESCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS, ESSENTIALLY, THEY ARE CHECK INS. I'M HERE. I DIDN'T RUN AWAY. SHE WAS DOING EVERYTHING BY THE BOOK, HADN'T GOTTEN INTO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW AND THEY WOULD SCHEDULE HER TO RETURN. LAST WEEK SHE HAD AN APPOINTMENT AND WALKED IN, SUSPECTING SOMETHING MIGHT GO WRONG. SHE HAD NOTIFIED ACTIVISTS. THERE WERE PEOPLE WITH HER. SHE NEVER WALKED OUT. HER LAWYER WALKED OUT ALONE.

TED SIMONS: WERE THERE ONE OR TWO SOCIAL SERVICE NUMBERS THAT SHE USED?

FERNANDA SANTOS: THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC HAD REPORTED THAT THERE WAS ONE HAD BEEN USED BY A MAN IN TUCSON WHO HAD NO IDEA THAT HIS NUMBER HAD BEEN USED BY ANYBODY AND AN ALIEN NUMBER. WHEN YOU ARE A LAWFUL PERMANENT NUMBER, YOU ARE GIVEN A NUMBER THAT FOLLOWS YOU UNTIL YOU BECOME A CITIZEN. SHE USED THE NUMBER OF A MAN OLDER THAN HER.

TED SIMONS: SO NO HARM, REALLY. IT WAS DISCRETIONARY AS FAR AS ICE IS CONCERNED. SHE WAS NOT DEPORTED, CAME IN FOR CHECK INS AND THESE SORT OF THINGS. WHY WAS SHE NOT DEPORTED?

FERNANDA SANTOS: THE DIRECTOR FOR I.C.E. HAS THE DISCRETION TO ACT UPON THE ORDER OR NOT. ONE COULD SAY HE ACTED UPON THE ORDER BECAUSE ENOUGH TIME HAD PASSED AND SHE WAS FPOUND BY THE COURTS TO HAVE A CREDIBLE CASE TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES, HE DECIDED HER TIME WAS UP. OTHERS, WHAT MANY HAVE BEEN SAYING AND THE TAKE I TOOK IN MY STORY BECAUSE IT MAKES SENSE, TALK ABOUT THE BROADENING OF THE CRITERIA OF WHAT IS DEFINED AS "CRIMINAL ALIEN," MEANING PEOPLE WHOSE CRIMES QUALIFY THEM AS A PRORITY FOR DEPORTATION. UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA THEY WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE BY AND LARGE RESTRICTED TO GANG AFFILIATIONS, A THREAT TO SECURITY OR A SEROUS FELON. UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP, IT'S A BROADER CATEGORY, ANYONE THAT HAS COMMITTED ANY CRIME AND PEOPLE THAT ARE SUSPECTED OF COMMITTING A CRIME OR HAVEN'T BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME YET.

TED SIMONS: SO AS YOU MENTIONED, SHE THOUGHT SOMETHING WAS UP. THIS WAS HER EIGHTH TIME.

FERNANDA SANTOS: IT WAS HER EIGHTH YEAR.

TED SIMONS: WHAT HAPPENED?

FERNANDA SANTOS: SHE WALKED IN WITH HER LAWYER. AN HOUR OR SO LATER THE LAWYER WALKED OUT SAYING SHE HAD BEEN ARRESTED. THERE WAS A DETENTION FACILITY ON PHOENIX AVENUE. SHE WAS HELD THERE. LATER THAT NIGHT ABOUT 8:00, SHE WAS PLACED IN A VAN TO BE DRIVEN OUT WITH OTHER DETAINEES TO A DETENTION FACILITY IN FLORENCE, USUALLY, THAT'S THE STEP BEFORE YOU ARE DRIVEN TO THE BORDER AND DROPPED OFF. AS THE VAN WAS GETTING OUT, PROTESTERS SURROUNDED THE VAN, HELD IT UP TWO HOURS UNTIL THE PHOENIX POLICE CAME AND ARRESTED THEM. THEY WERE INTERFERING WITH A GOVERNMENT OPERATION. THE VAN RETURNED AND LATER, SHE WAS DRIVEN OUT IN ANOTHER VEHICLE ESCORTED BY THE PHOENIX POLICE. THE NEXT MORNING, SHE CALLED HER HUSBAND FROM NOGALES MEXICO TELLING HIM THAT'S WHERE SHE WAS.

TED SIMONS: THEY DROVE DOWN THERE, CROSSED BORDER AND PUT HER IN WHAT ACROSS THE BORDER?

FERNANDA SANTOS: WHEN YOU ARE DEPORTED FROM A BORDER STATE LIKE ARIZONA, TEXAS, CALIFORNIA, YOU ARE DRIVEN TO THE BORDER, AND YOU ARE -- THERE IS A GATE THAT YOU AND I WOULD CROSS INTO MEXICO, AND THEN THERE IS A GATE FOR PEOPLE DEPORTED WHERE THEY ARE BASICALLY DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEXICAN AUTHORITIES. THEY HAVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOU. ONCE YOU CROSS THE LINE. ONCE YOU ARE IN MEXICO, IT'S ON YOU TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME. LIKE I SAID, HER MOTHER IS ABOUT A FOUR HOUR DRIVE FROM THE BORDER. IT WAS ONLY THIS MORNING THAT SHE GOT HOME.

TED SIMONS: SHE HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE. YOU SPOKE WITH HER. TALK ABOUT HOW SHE'S DOING, WHAT SHE'S THINKING AND WHAT'S NEXT IN ALL OF THIS?

FERNANDA SANTOS: IN THE PAST, THE PUBLIC PRESSURE WAS EFFECTIVE IN DELAYING DEPORTATION STALLING THEM IN PHOENIX AND PARTICULARLY HERE. THE GRASSROOTS GROUPS LEARNED ABOUT HOW TO WORK WITH THE PUBLIC TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE POLITICIANS. IN THIS CASE IT DIDN'T WORK. SHE BELIEVED THAT HAVING A LOT OF PUBLICITY WOULD HELP HER. IN THIS COMPETITION, I WANTED TO BE FIRST. I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE HAD HER CHILDREN ALLOW ME TO RIDE DOWN WITH THEM, THE 14 AND 16-YEAR-OLDS BEING DRIVEN THERE. I WENT TO THE HOTEL ROOM WHERE SHE WAS. SHE WAS EXHAUSTED, UNDERSTANDABLY. THEY ARE VERY FAITHFUL. THEY ARE VERY CATHOLIC. SHE TALKED ABOUT HER FAITH. SHE TALKS ABOUT HER CASE AS AN EXAMPLE -- SHE SAW IT AS A TESTING OF THE TRUMP POLICIES, AND SAW IT AS PROOF THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A DIFFERENT ERA. SHE'S TRYING TO RETURN HERE, WHICH WILL BE DIFFICULT BUT ENCOURAGE OTHER FAMILIES NOT TO BE AFRAID BUT CONTINUE TO FIGHT WITH LAWYERS, HOWEVER THEY CAN TO LEGALIZE THEIR STATUS.

TED SIMONS: HOW ABOUT THE KIDS? HOW ARE THEY TAKING THIS?

FERNANDA SANTOS: TEENAGERS ARE HARD TO READ. WE WERE IN THE CAR. THEY WERE SNAP CHATTING WITH THEIR FRIENDS. THEN THERE WERE MOMENTS THEY WOULD GET QUIET AND THINK ABOUT WHAT IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE WHEN THEY GO BACK HOME AND MOM IS NOT THERE ANYMORE. I'M SURE THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT NOW. THEY ARE A GOOD FAMILY. THEY HAVE STRONG SUPPORT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE YOUR MOTHER TAKEN AWAY. FOR A CHILD, IT HAS TO BE DIFFICULT. WE'LL WAIT TO SEE.

TED SIMONS: IT'S SAID TO BE THE FIRST ARREST OR DEPORTATION UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. IS IT THE FIRST ONE?

FERNANDA SANTOS: THE FIRST ONE THAT HAPPENED THAT WE KNOW OF IN A PRESCHEDULED APPOINTMENT WITH I.C.E. THERE HAD BEEN OTHERS PRIOR. THE WEEKEND PREVIOUSLY, I.C.E. AGENTS DEPORTED OTHERS. IT'S NORMAL. IT HAPPENED UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA REGULARLY. WE JUST DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT IT SO MUCH. THIS TIME, EVERYBODY WAS WAITING TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS SOMEONE THAT WASN'T IN CUSTODY. SHE MADE A CHECK IN.

FERNANDA SANTOS: SHE COULD HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO DO AS MANY DO.

TED SIMONS: YOU'VE BEEN REPORTING ON OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WHERE THE RAIDS ARE HAPPENING, HAPPENING WITH MORE FREQUENCY? WHAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE?

FERNANDA SANTOS: I.C.E. SAYS THEY ARE HAPPENING THE SAME WAY THEY DID BEFORE. THEY ARE OPERATIONS THAT TAKE TIME TO PUT TOGETHER. THEY ARE TARGETING DANGEROUS CRIMINALS. IN A STATEMENT TODAY SECRETARY KELLY TALKED ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN CONVICTED OF DRUNK DRIVING, SPOUSAL ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, SERIOUS CRIMES WHO WERE CAUGHT. A LOT OF TIMES, PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE A CRIMINAL CONVICTION, CRIMINAL RECORD AT ALL, BUT ONLY THE FACT THAT THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY WITHOUT PAPERS GET CAUGHT UP.

TED SIMONS: WE ARE HEARING THAT'S HAPPENING. THE LAST QUESTION. THERE ARE THOSE ON ONE SIDE OF THE DEBATE THAT ARE ANGRY WITH THE WOMAN SAYING SHE SHOULDN'T BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, GAMING THE SYSTEM, ANCHOR KIDS. THEY ARE ANGRY AT HER. IS SHE ANGRY AT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?

FERNANDA SANTOS: WHAT SHE SAID, AND I ASKED HER THIS QUESTION BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ANGRY, I UNDERSTAND PEOPLE BEING ANGRY. THIS IS A DIFFICULT TOPIC. I HAVE COVERED IMMIGRATION STORIES FOR A LONG TIME. IT'S VERY BLACK AND WHITE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. WHAT SHE SAID WAS THAT ALL SHE WANTS IS TO BE WITH HER FAMILY. SHE WAS 14 WHEN SHE WAS BROUGHT HERE. SHE STAYED HERE BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE HER PARENTS WERE. SHE GOT MARRIED AND HAD CHILDREN. SHE WAS HERE MORE YEARS THAN SHE WAS IN MEXICO AND IT WAS MORE HER COUNTRY AS WELL. SHE STAYED HERE BECAUSE OF HER KIDS, FEELING THEY WOULD HAVE A BETTER CHANCE THAN IN MEXICO.

TED SIMONS: MORE HOPEFUL THAN ANGRY?

FERNANDA SANTOS: MORE HOPEFUL THAN ANGRY WHEN I MET HER BUT WE'LL SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT IN THE WEEKS AHEAD.

TED SIMONS: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

Fernanda Santos: Phoenix-based New York Times reporter

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