An undocumented Latina and prominent activist fighting for immigration rights has been sent a “notice to appear” in court which can lead to deportation. Maru Mora-Villalpando received the notice early this week, and many speculate that immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) are targeting Maru because she’s a leading activist in Washington. Maru has lived in the United States for more than 25 years and has a teen daughter.
Maru has been an avid activist, fighting on behalf of undocumented immigrants for years and has worked with the Northwest Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR) and is also a founding member of Mijente, a national Latinx organization. Maru has also been hailed as “modern-day freedom fighter.”
“ICE only knows about me because of my political work,” Maru tells Migente. “I have spoken out to defend immigrants in detention and shared my story as an undocumented mother. I have sat in meetings with immigration officials and challenged their practices. They are an agency whose actions have already been devastating to my community. But with the letter they delivered to my house, they are showing themselves to be an agency that silences any opposition to their practices.”
BREAKING: ICE targets another activist. This time, an undocumented mother in Washington fighting to end detention. Sign petition: https://t.co/tGJzTtsSwD #MaruVersusICE #ICEfreeWA #ICEfreeUSA pic.twitter.com/Qtk50bvnMM
— Mijente 🐜🐜🐜 (@ConMijente) January 16, 2018
Tania Unzueta, Mijente Policy Director, says they will do everything in their power to help Maru.
“We will not allow ICE to deport Maru. Not only because we value her, but because we cannot allow a government agency that is already cruel and damaging to our communities to also silence our stories and deter our organizing,” Tania said, according to Mijente. “It is clear that Maru’s deportation notice is part of a Trump agenda that punishes people who oppose it. We are marking the moment in time when ICE agents are becoming Trump’s police force and targeting voices that counter their agenda.”
“To me, it’s a clear sign that ICE wants me to stop my job,” Maru told the Seattle Times. “It was an intimidation tactic.”
If you’d like to help Maru, you can sign her petition to help her stay in the country with her daughter.