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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Immigrant activist seeks end to deportation effort

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 – Dozens of supporters of an immigrants-right activist showed up to back her at her first deportation hearing in immigrant court in Seattle.

Maru Mora-Villalpando is seeking to have her removal proceedings thrown out by a judge, saying authorities are targeting her for her political activism in violation of her free speech rights.

Judge Brett Parchert on Thursday gave the federal government until April 9 to respond. He set another hearing for May.

Outside the downtown Seattle building, dozens of her supporters demonstrated and cheered when she called for U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement to be dismantled.

The Mexico City native has been in the U.S. continuously since 1996 after overstaying a visa. She remains free during the proceedings.

ICE has denied targeting immigrants for deportation based on their political activity.

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