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How a mom became the sudden face of Trump's campaign against undocumented immigrants.

Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos might be the first person affected by President Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

When she was 14, Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos moved to the U.S. from Mexico. 21 years later, she is headed back — and not by choice.

Since 2008, Garcia de Rayos, an undocumented immigrant, had been making regular check-ins at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix. Usually, these visits consisted of a few questions and a general overview of her case, The New York Times reported.

Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos locked in a van stopped in the street by protesters outside the ICE office on Feb. 8 in Phoenix. Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic.


In 2008, Garcia de Rayos was caught in a raid conducted by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a Mesa, Arizona, water park where she worked. Garcia de Rayos, along with other employees, was arrested on charges of using forged documents to obtain employment and suspicion of identity theft. Arpaio's raids were eventually found to be unconstitutional, but Garcia de Rayos pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation, a class 6 felony.

While Garcia de Rayos was issued an order to voluntarily leave the U.S. in 2013, the Obama administration considered her case a low priority.

On Wednesday, all that changed.

On Jan. 25, President Trump issued an executive order that broadened the definition of "criminal" when it comes to deportation priorities.

Under Obama, undocumented immigrants who had committed violent or repeated crimes were considered high priority for deportation. Under Trump, that changed in a big way. In its broadest sense, Trump's order would not only make people like Garcia de Rayos high priority for deportation but also all "removable aliens who have been convicted of any criminal offense; have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense," and more.

In other words, virtually all undocumented immigrants not covered by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (which Garcia de Rayos was just a few months too old upon arrival to qualify for) are at risk of quick deportation.

President Trump signs an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project and expand deportation procedures. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

On Wednesday, when Garcia de Rayos walked into the ICE office, she knew she was facing arrest. She was afraid, but she did it anyway.

She was advised that it might be better for her to go into hiding. Instead, she walked into the ICE office, knowing that it might be her last free moment in the U.S. She was arrested and placed in a van. “I have faith in God,” she told the New York Times as she fought back tears. On Thursday, she was deported.

A family has been torn apart, and Garcia de Rayos' two teenage children will be left behind.

Her children, 16-year-old Angel and 14-year-old Jacqueline, are American citizens. This is their country as much as it is any of ours. It's absolutely heartbreaking to know that they'll be separated from their mother over this. It's even worse to know that this is just one family out of thousands or even millions that will be split up as the result of this new order.

People took to the street in protest, standing in the way of the ICE vans. Friends, family, and supporters turned out to do what they could to keep Garcia de Rayos from being carted off.

Seven protesters were arrested, though the Phoenix Police Department tweeted that the protests were peaceful overall. The emotional protest cut to the heart of how unfair our current system of immigration can be.

A protester locked himself to the van carrying Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos. Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP.

Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic.

The U.S. needs comprehensive immigration reform. And that means coming to terms with the fact that there are millions of people here who are undocumented.

It's up to us as a country whether we want to be a land of opportunity or the type of place that will break up families and send people back to countries they haven't known for more than 20 years.

"She's built a great life for herself and her children, and her kids want her to be home at night," her attorney, Ray Ybarra-Maldonado, told the Arizona Republic. "Her kids want her to take them to school, to be at the parent-teacher conference, to see them go to prom, and to see them graduate, and more than anything she deserves to live a life she has built."

Immigrants make America great. We cannot forget that.

A common response to discussion about undocumented immigrants is that they should have done things the "right way" when they first entered the country. Unfortunately, the current system makes doing things the "right way" really tough — especially if you're not wealthy. Earlier this week, Politico reported that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) is working with the president to make it even harder to come to the U.S. legally. Cotton's plan would cut legal immigration by half. There's nothing American about that.

Maya Casillas, 7, during a vigil to protest Trump's crackdown on "sanctuary cities." Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Want to make America great? Then we need to take care of all of its people — natural-born citizens, naturalized citizens, undocumented immigrants, permanent residents, and everyone else. We can't stand by and do nothing. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is just as American as any of us.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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