An undocumented local immigration activist who believes Immigration and Customs Enforcement is targeting her for her political activity will attend President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address Tuesday.
In December, ICE sent Maru Mora-Villalpando a notice to appear in immigration court, the first step in a deportation proceeding. Mora-Villalpando is a prominent local activist who has organized immigrant detainees in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. She is one of several immigration activists facing possible deportation.
Speaking to supporters and reporters earlier this month, Mora-Villalpando said the notice was "a clear sign ICE wants me to stop my job. They want all of us here to stop. It’s an intimidation tactic."
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell invited Mora-Villalpando and her 20-year-old daughter Josefina to the State of the Union, according to NWDC Resistance.
Mora-Villalpando has lived in the United States for 25 years. Because of provisions in a 1996 immigration law, she says that if she left the U.S. now and tried to reenter legally, she could face a 10-year bar.
"Trump’s police force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, came to my front door, so now I’m coming to his," Mora-Villalpando said in a statement. "Trump is attempting to rule through fear, terrorizing families like mine with detentions and deportations. I’m coming to the State of the Union in protest against this administration’s racist, xenophobic policies."