Under the Trump Administration, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has delivered a series of crushing blows to undocumented communities. As part of a national crackdown, there have been several arrests of immigrant rights organizers. The latest: Alejandra Pablos.
The Washington, DC-based activist was detained on Wednesday, after arriving for a regular check-in with ICE in Tucson, Arizona.
“They’re trying to really separate me and tear our movement apart and tear our community apart, and I’m not letting that happen. I need you to stand up for me,” Pablos, 32, said in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday.
BREAKING: Another immigrant rights activist detained by ICE. Immigrant rights and reproductive rights organizer Alejandra Pablos detained by ICE in Tucson. Watch her video and write a letter of support for Alejandra here: bit.ly/releaseale #releaseAle #AlevsICE
Posted by Mijente on Wednesday, March 7, 2018
In 2011, the mexicana, a legal permanent resident and green card holder, was arrested and detained at Arizona’s Eloy Detention Center following a drug-related arrest. After paying a $9,500 bond, she was released in 2013, after being held for two years, and has appeared for check-ins every three months.
“I did not leave that jail free. I came home to a different life, a life without permission to work, a life without my legal permanent resident card, and a life with a tremendous amount of fear,” Pablos wrote of her time following her release in a YouCaring fundraiser in December.
Since then, she relocated to DC, where she worked as a field coordinator for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Across the District, and country, Pablos has fought for reproductive justice and immigrant rights.
In January, the Latina activist, who has lived in the U.S. since she was a baby, led chants at a peaceful protest outside of the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia, where she was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and obstruction of justice. Fellow organizers, however, allege she was targeted because of her advocacy. According to Mijente, a national political hub for Latinxs that has started a petition for Pablos’ release, one of the ICE officials contacted her deportation officer in Tuscan, seeking her detainment in retaliation for the protest.
“They’re against all activists, all organizers, people who advocate and are out there fighting,” Pablos said in the video.
ICE officers have increasingly been setting their sights on activists who speak out against the agency. In January, Washington-based immigrant’s rights advocate Maru Mora-Villalpando received a deportation notice and claimed it was issued in response to her “political work.” Before then, Baltazar Aburto Gutierrez, a man who criticized ICE in an article for the Seattle Times, was detained, the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City’s executive director, Ravi Ragbir, and co-founder Jean Montrevil were apprehended, and Eliseo Jurado, the husband of Ingrid Latorre, who has been seeking refuge from deportation in a Colorado church, was arrested.
According to the Phoenix New Times, Pablos, who will not have the opportunity to be released or pay a bond until she meets with an immigration judge, has a hearing in April for her charges in Virginia as well as a trial date in immigration court in December.
Sign Mijente’s petition to call for Pablos’ release.