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Deportation form noted immigrant activist’s role in protests

In this Jan. 16, 2018,  photo, Maru Mora-Villalpando acknowledges supporters surrounding her at a news conference announcing that the longtime activist for illegal immigrants in the Northwest says she herself is now facing deportation, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
In this Jan. 16, 2018, photo, Maru Mora-Villalpando acknowledges supporters surrounding her at a news conference announcing that the longtime activist for illegal immigrants in the Northwest says she herself is now facing deportation, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE – An official who targeted a Northwest immigrant rights advocate for deportation noted on a form that she had been extensively involved in Latino advocacy as well as protests against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Maru Mora-Villalpando says the newly released document proves the agency targeted her for political reasons. In a conference call Monday, the 47-year-old Mexican citizen and her supporters said the office of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell helped them obtain the document after ICE failed to respond to their public records request.

ICE has repeatedly denied targeting immigrants for deportation based on their political activity. The agency says Maru-Villalpando overstayed a visa issued in 1996.

The form was filled out in December. It says Mora-Villalpando came to the agency’s attention after she discussed her undocumented status in an interview with a monthly newspaper last year.

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