A woman who had been in the United States for 20 years, was deported to Mexico Thursday, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) confirmed.
Silvia Ocampo-Ortiz entered the U.S. illegally in 1992 near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
In 2008, she was arrested by Homeland Security and Social Security Administration officials, according to ICE spokesperson Lauren Mack. The following year, Ocampo-Ortiz was turned over to ICE after a felony conviction for perjury.
Mack said this case was heard before an immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals and twice before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Thursday evening, Ocampo-Ortiz was deported and staying in Tijuana, Mexico.
The ICE Acting Director has made it clear that the agency will not exempt classes or categories of people, Mack said in a written statement.
"All of those in violation of our nation’s immigration laws may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable, he or she will be removed from the United States," she said.
Ocampo-Ortiz is a single mother with several children, including an 8-year-old daughter with special needs, according to Unite Here, an organization that rallied to keep the mother in the U.S.
Religious leaders, activists, and local leaders gathered outside the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building Thursday to protest against Ocampo-Ortiz' deportation.
"We are outraged that ICE would take a single mother of a special needs child away from her family," Brigette Browning, president of Unite Here Local 30. "They are heartlessly deporting Silvia right before a court date that could enable her to remain here with her children. Tearing apart families is the real crime here."
In September, Gaston Cazares of Carlsbad was deported after his immigration hearing.
Cazares moved to San Diego illegally when he was 17 and has been in the area for nearly 30 years. Cazares’ wife of 22 years, their teenage daughter and their son with autism now remain in Carlsbad without him.