Protesters held on to the tyres and threw their bodies in front of a van that was taking away a woman in the US illegally on Wednesday (9 February). Earlier in the day she was rounded up and detained at the immigration headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, under one of President Trump's recent executive orders on immigration.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after she reported to an annual check-in early on Wednesday (8 February). She had been given a voluntary deportation order from the Department of Justice in 2013 and was charged in 2009 for criminal impersonation after working in the US illegally.
Seven people were arrested through the night as protesters shouted "shut it down" and mounted a stand off against the ICE van as it attempted to leave the ICE headquarters garage with Garcia inside. Protesters blocked it with their bodies and the van retreated back inside after after several hours.
Signed on 25 January, President Donald Trump's executive order directs immigration officials to remove "those individuals whose legal claims to remain in the United States have been lawfully rejected."
Garcia's husband and teenage children stood with protestors. The family faces being separated. Garcia's daughter, Jaqueline, told a local ABC News affiliate that she would ask President Trump "why he would want to take her from me? She hasn't done anything wrong and I'm not scared of him."
Phoenix has been a flash point for the immigration debate. The population of Mexican immigrants, documented and undocumented remained the same in Arizona from 2009 to 2014, according to a September 2016 Pew poll. But many people claim Mexican heritage in the state, which borders Mexico.
During President Trump's campaign in the presidential primaries, demonstrators for and against Trump clashed at one of his rallies in Fountain Hills, Arizona, on 19 March 2016. And the day after the election protestors gathered in front of the Arizona's Capitol building in Phoenix.
Garcia's attorney, said she faces deportation under President Trump's executive order. "It's extremely disappointing to walk in with a beautiful loving and caring human being like Guadalupe and not be able to walk out with her," said Ray Ybarra Maldonado after visiting her in detention. "She is stronger than I am, when she heard she was going to be taken in, she took a deep breath, asked what the next step that would happen, and she went into custody."
A group called the Puente Human Rights Movement, which works to "empower migrant communities" and protect their rights, helped organize the protest and vigil to stop Garcia's deportation.
"This is one of Trumps first deportees and we have to halt the Trump effect and protect our community," the group said on its Facebook page. "Guadalupe and her family are facing the reality that she may soon be separated from the children she has worked so hard to support."