Because so much of the news media's oxygen was consumed last week by President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning all refugees, and stopping travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, few people noticed the story the deportation of a Mexican woman.
Guadalupe García de Rayos, who came to U.S. illegally 21 years ago and has two American children, was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday and deported to Nogales, Mexico the next day. She has been separated from her family and may never be able to return to the place she has lived for more than half her life.
Ms. Rayos's case is complicated, but also typical. She was arrested in Phoenix in 2008 for using fake documents to get a job. In 2013, an immigration court ordered her deportation, but immigration officials – who were told by the previous administration to focus on dangerous criminals, recent arrivals and repeat offenders – never acted on it.
But Mr. Trump signed an executive order in January telling immigration officials to remove any illegal alien convicted of a crime, and even accused of one. Ms. Rayos was deported after she dutifully reported to an annual interview with immigration officials.
There may be many more like Ms. Rayos – as many as eight million, according to the Los Angeles Times. Their deportations will be welcomed by Mr. Trump's supporters, for whom illegal immigrants, even those who have been in America for decades, are threats to the rule of law who steal jobs from citizens.
For Mr. Trump's detractors, Ms. Rayos is a symbol of the new President's populist regression. The President's sweeping order is unfair and inhumane, and impractical, to boot: The mass deportation of millions of workers could force businesses and farms relying on their labour to shut down or leave crops to rot in the field.
We already know, though, that Mr. Trump is indifferent to, or ill-informed about, the consequences of his executive orders. They are designed to satisfy his base, not the rules of logic and decency. His directives on immigration will likely drive people further underground, causing harm to families and hurting businesses. No matter. He is "making America great again," one poorly conceived order at a time.