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After A Judge Ordered Activist Ale Pablos’ Deportation, Thousands Sign Petition Urging Arizona Governor For A Pardon

On Tuesday, an Arizona judge handed immigration and reproductive rights activist Alejandra Pablos an order of deportation almost one year after she was arrested during a protest in Virginia. But, with resistance running through her veins, neither she nor her community plan to stop fighting.

Later the same day, a petition sponsored by Keep Ale Free calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to grant a pardon for an 8-year-old DUI arrest that placed her into deportation proceedings began circulating throughout social media, already garnering 17,180 signatures in three days. It’s just 8,420 short of its 25,600 goal.

“Getting a pardon from the Governor is [Pablos’] last chance to stay in the U.S. with her family and community,” the petition reads. “Alejandra has been a staunch advocate for immigration reform and criminal justice reform, and shares America’s vision of seeing our communities thrive. We need more leaders like Alejandra here and not separated from her family and loved ones.”

While immigration falls under federal jurisdiction, supporters are hoping a gubernatorial pardon would remove Judge Thomas Michael O’Leary’s reason for deportation.

In 2013, three years after her arrest, Pablos, 33, was apprehended at a routine check-in with her probation officer. She spent the next two years in detention at an Arizona immigration facility.

“I’ve taken responsibility for my mistakes, but when is it enough? I’ve completed my sentences, I’ve turned my life around and transformed myself into someone who works every day to help others — but when is it enough,” the Nogales, Mexico-born, Arizona-raised legal resident, who is out on bond, told the Washington Post.

She said her time in detention changed her forever, leaving her with a yearning to help others in similar circumstances she’s since overcome.

For the past two years, she’s done just that. Relocating to the Washington, DC area, Pablos has worked at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she has organized rallies and trainings on reproductive justice, immigration rights and how the two intersect for immigrant women in the country.

It was during a January peaceful protest against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids outside the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia that Pablos was arrested again, reliving a nightmare she thought was behind her. While Pablos was soon released, she was once more apprehended during a routine check-in with ICE back home in Arizona and detained for 43 days.

This time, Pablos felt she was targeted for being vocal about immigration, believing agents were trying to “intimidate us and silence us,” claims ICE officials have denied.

On Tuesday, when Pablos was petitioning for asylum, fearing threat of violence for her activist work should she be forced to return to Mexico — the country she left as a child — she faced similar doubt. O’Leary, unconvinced that her safety was in danger in the southern country, denied her request, revoked her green card and ordered her deportation.

In addition to urging Ducey to pardon the activist through the petition, a power the governor has only utilized once in his four years in office, Pablos says she also plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

“La lucha sigue,” she said.

Sign the petition here.

Read: Latina Activist Alejandra Robles Is The Latest Immigrant Rights Organizer To Be Detained By ICE

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

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America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

America Ferrera has never been a celebrity to stay quiet in the face of injustice, so it’s no surprise that the actress-activist has boldly responded to the Trump administration’s policy requiring migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico.

Last week, the Superstore star led a group of actors, including Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Wilmer Valderrama, Roselyn Sanchez and Kendrick Sampson, across the southern border to a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.

There, the group learned how the policy was impacting migrants while speaking directly with immigration lawyers and shelter managers as well as families and children. They hope through this real-life education that they will become better equipped to challenge the Trump administration in the US.

“It is easy for me to look at these human beings and see myself. … This could very easily have been my reality in this lifetime,” the Honduran-American actress told the Associated Press about the trip.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy limits the amount of asylum requests border patrol can attend to per day. The process, which has also forced refugees, including thousands of Central American families who have filed for sanctuary from violence and poverty in their home countries, to stay in Mexico, has slowed down the process and created case backlogs in the immigration system and overcrowding in shelters in Mexican border towns.

“We were able to bear witness to how the current administration is treating refugee families. We MUST demand better,” Washington said in an Instagram post. “Let me be clear: it is legal to seek asylum. When people cross our borders, their human rights come with them. We must protect those human rights.”

@kerrywashington / Instagram

According to NBC News, the visit was organized by nonprofits Families Belong Together and Harness, an organization started by Ferrera, Valderrama and Ryans Piers.

Jessica Morales Rocketto, who heads Families Belong Together, told the news outlet that one of the women she met at the shelter had been waiting with her toddler since November to apply for asylum.

“People get to the border and think that’s the end of the journey, but it’s only the beginning,” Morales Rocketto said.

Read: 20 Major Immigration Facts the American Public Refuses to Hear

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