Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reproductive justice leader becomes latest activist to be detained by ICE

The Daily Dot (Mar. 9, 2018): Reproductive justice leader becomes latest activist to be detained by ICE, by Samantha Grasso

Alejandra Pablos, a nationally recognized reproductive justice and immigrant rights activist with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, was taken into custody last Wednesday during a regularly scheduled check-in with ICE in Arizona. 

Immigrant rights activists say ICE detained Pablos in “retaliation” for protesting outside a Department of Homeland Security building in Virginia in January, making her the latest immigration activism leader to be detained by ICE.

Though Pablos fell out of legal permanent resident status more than two years ago after a drug-related arrest, she had sought asylum status for the “danger she would face as a political organizer” back in Mexico.

“I went in today thinking that they were going to readjust my bond…ICE lied to me. I went in there in good faith. I’m doing everything that I can,” Pablos said in a Facebook video. “It’s been a long time that I’ve been going through this case and they’re trying to really separate me and tear our movement apart and tear our community apart, and I’m not letting that happen.”

Pablos is the latest advocate to be arrested in a string of detainments and deportations of such leaders. In January of this year, ICE detained Ravi Ragbir, executive director of New York’s New Sanctuary Coalition, during a routine check-in with ICE agents. ICE also deported activist Jean Montrevil that month. In February, ICE documents showed undocumented Mexican activist Maru Mora-Villalpando, who is facing deportation, did not come to ICE’s attention until after speaking out in an interview following a protest last year.

Immigration rights groups have sued over the targeting of advocates and are calling these types of detainments “silent raids,” detainments carried out during a person’s regularly-scheduled check-in with ICE.

Pablos has now been detained for seven days. A petition by Mijente and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health demanding Alejandra's release needs 25,000 signatures. It currently has 21,024 signatures as of this writing.

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