DENVER – A new report shows immigration arrests rose by 32.6 percent in the first few weeks of the Trump administration as another Denver-area woman living in the country illegally faces deportation herself.
Last Friday, Denver7 reported that Maria de Jesus Jimenez-Sanchez, a mother of four living in Aurora, saw her request for a stay of deportation denied and was scheduled to be deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok told Denver7 late Friday that Jimenez-Sanchez, whose real name is Karen Araujo-Jimenez, had indeed been denied her latest request for stay.
Rusnok said that Jimenez-Sanchez first entered the U.S. illegally in October 1999. ICE says that she was immediately confronted by federal agents and voluntarily returned to Mexico the same day.
She was then caught posing as another person while trying to enter the U.S. in Douglas, Arizona in May 2001, according to Rusnok, and was again deported immediately.
Jimenez-Sanchez’s lawyer, Jennifer Kain-Rios, said that her client had lived in Aurora since 1999.
ICE confirmed that Jimenez-Sanchez was taken into ICE custody again in December 2012. That lines up with the timeline Kain-Rios gave, in which she said Jimenez-Sanchez was pulled over and cited for driving without a license.
She spent six months in ICE custody. In May 2013, according to ICE, an immigration judge upheld a previous removal order for her and ordered her to be deported by the Department of Homeland Security.
But she had been granted a one-year stay of deportation a month earlier. The stays were extended for another year in May 2014, March 2015 and March 2016, Rusnok said, but her latest stay request was denied March 14 of this year.
She was picked up in Centennial Wednesday when she showed up for her routine immigration check-in despite knowing her stay had been denied, her lawyer says.
Her case is the third high-profile case involving women scheduled to be deported out of the Denver area. Jeanette Vizguerra and Ingrid LaTorre are both in sanctuary at Denver-area churches to stave off their deportations.
The cases come amid an increased effort by immigration officials under the Trump administration to deport people living in the country illegally no matter if they’ve been convicted of a violent crime or not.
In a story published by The Washington Post Sunday, the Post found that ICE arrested 21,362 undocumented immigrants from January through mid-March, compared to 16,104 during the same time period in 2016 – an increase of 32.6 percent.
The Post also found that the number of people arrested with no criminal records doubled, though almost three quarters of those arrested did have criminal records (an increase of 15 percent year-over-year).
And Rusnok noted Friday that anyone in violation of immigration laws is subject to arrest and possible deportation. He also noted that from FY 2012-16, between 41 and 45 percent of undocumented immigrants removed from the U.S. had no prior criminal convictions.