U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested her Monday at her apartment in San Diego's Logan Heights neighborhood.
A public defender says Lugo is self-employed and earns about $300 a month.
The 43-year-old Mexican citizen was deported from San Diego in 1997 after pleading guilty to possessing rock cocaine.
Her 14-year-old son, called El Ponchis, was arrested last week as he tried to board a plane to Tijuana in an airport near Cuernavaca south of Mexico City. Authorities say he planned to meet his mother in San Diego.
Border Patrol agents arrested Yolanda Lugo Jimenez, 43, on Monday night at her San Diego home, according to a federal complaint filed Wednesday. Jimenez allegedly told agents she is a Mexican citizen and not allowed to be in the United States.