ICE targets immigrant rights leaders in shift “from law enforcement into a political-oppression apparatus”
Sign this petition to rescind the deportation order against Maru Mora Villapando
Maru Mora Villalpando speaks to supporters during a press conference in Seattle on January 16, 2018. Photo Credit: Enrique Cerna/Crosscut
The Seattle office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has served a “Notice to Appear,” otherwise known as a deportation notice, to Washington-based community activist and mother, Maru Mora-Villalpando.
Maru leads Northwest Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), an organization that was co-founded when immigrants held at the Northwest Detention Center began a series of hunger strikes in 2014 protesting their inhumane treatment. Mora-Villalpando’s efforts have transformed the NWDC from an ignored facility in an out-of-the-way location to a key site of local resistance, with weekly rallies and vigils outside its gates.
Now, in an unprecedented and arbitrary act of retaliation ICE has chosen to target Mora-Villalpando directly. ICE is now purposely targeting people such as Mora-Villalpando who are organizing against the agency and the Trump administration’s racially-motivated deportation agenda.
“ICE only knows about me because of my political work,” explains Mora-Villalpando. “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,” she concluded.
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La oficina de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) de Seattle ha enviado un “Aviso de comparecencia”, también conocido como un aviso de deportación, a la activista y madre en la comunidad de Washington, Maru Mora-Villalpando.
Maru lidera la Resistencia del Centro de Detención del Noroeste (NWDCR), una organización que fue cofundada cuando los inmigrantes detenidos en el Centro de Detención del Noroeste comenzaron una serie de huelgas de hambre en 2014 protestando su trato inhumano. Los esfuerzos de Mora-Villalpando han transformado el NWDC de una instalación ignorada en una ubicación apartada a un sitio clave de resistencia local, con manifestaciones y vigilias semanales en sus puertas.
Ahora, en un acto de represalia arbitro y sin precedentes, ICE ha elegido apuntar directamente a Mora-Villalpando. ICE ahora está apuntando deliberadamente a personas como Mora-Villalpando que se están organizando contra la agencia y la agenda de deportación racialmente motivada de la administración Trump.
“ICE solo sabe de mí por mi trabajo político”, explica Mora-Villalpando. “He hablado para defender a los inmigrantes detenidos y compartí mi historia como una madre indocumentada. Me he sentado en reuniones con funcionarios de inmigración y desafié sus prácticas. Son una agencia cuyas acciones ya han sido devastadoras para mi comunidad. Pero con la carta que entregaron a mi casa, se muestran como una agencia que silencia cualquier oposición a sus prácticas “, concluyó.
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“I believe that ICE sent me this letter and started deportation proceedings against me because they are not so much against my immigration status, but against my political work,” Villalpando said in her first interview since receiving notice from ICE. “This is political oppression. That’s what they’re doing. ICE is finalizing the transition from law enforcement into a political-oppression apparatus.”
Villalpando is one of several well-known activists recently targeted by ICE. Last week, for example, ICE detained Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City. His arrest sparked protests that led to the arrest of 18 people. That same day, ICE also picked up Eliseo Jurado, the husband of Ingrid Latorre, who is fighting deportation as she takes sanctuary in a Colorado church. Jean Montrevil, co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition, was also detained. Villalpando received her letter from ICE last month, just before the Christmas holiday.
Maru Mora speaks about ICE initiating deportation proceedings against her:
ICE targets immigrant rights leaders in shift “from law enforcement into a political-oppression… was originally published in IMM Print on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.