Defend Maru!: ICE Targets Long Time Immigration Activist with Deportation

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Long time community and immigration activist Maru Mora Villalpando, who has led ongoing protests in Tacoma, Washington as part of the group, Northwest Detention Center Resistance, and who was a guest on the IGD podcast back in May of 2017, has received a “Notice to Appear” in deportation proceedings.

According to Democracy Now!

She says, only days before Christmas, she received a “Notice to Appear.” She writes, “With the letter delivered to my house, ICE has officially made the leap from a law enforcement agency to a political repression agency, crossing a line that should concern us all.” We’ll have more on her case later in the week.

HearldNet wrote:

Mora-Villalpando said she believes ICE may have obtained her address from the state Department of Licensing, which came under fire this month after The Seattle Times reported that it had been providing driver’s license applications to ICE upon request. Gov. Jay Inslee, who has vowed that state workers would not act as immigration agents, ordered the practice halted immediately and accepted the resignation of a deputy director of the department.

But Maru is also not the only immigrant activist that is currently being targeted. As Crosscut wrote:

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.

Posted by NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Maru has been an increasingly visible advocate for immigrants and those suffering in detention facilities, and the group she is apart of, Northwest Detention Center Resistance, is credited with supporting a variety of hunger strikes and struggles of those on the inside. This support activity has included holding demonstrations, engaging in civil disobedience, organizing noise demos, and working hand in hand with detainees on the inside who are organizing.

According to Crosscut, Maru comes from a family of political and revolutionary organizers in Mexico City, but decided to flee to the United States after facing harassment and repression at the hands of Mexico’s ruling party, the PRI.

But Maru also isn’t backing down and plans on fighting the deportation, as she told Crosscut: 

The idea is “to be mentally prepared to fight back,” Villalpando said. “The law is designed to keep us detained and deport us. We cannot rely on the law because the law is against us. We need to rely on the community. Make ICE’s job difficult.”

Supporters of Maru have asked that people sign an online petition here. People can also stay up to date on upcoming actions in solidarity with Maru by following the Northwest Detention Center Resistance here. Already, earlier today a march on the Tacoma Detention Facility took place against Maru’s potential deportation, and future actions are expected.

As the drive towards mass deportation under the Trump administration continues to grow, the need to stand up and organize against ICE and attacks on immigrants, including grassroots organizers like Maru, is more dire than ever.

Action at Tacoma cages

Posted by NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC on Tuesday, January 16, 2018


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