Maru Mora-Villalpando speaking in front of ICEs Seattle office in January.
Maru Mora-Villalpando speaking in front of ICE's Seattle office in January. HG

A group of human rights experts at the United Nations have issued a statement urging the US to respect the rights of Maru Mora-Villalpando, a Seattle-based immigration activist who has long advocated for the rights of detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. In December, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched deportation proceedings against Mora Villalpando, an action she believes is a direct result of her public presence and activism.

“Ms. Villalpando’s notice to appear at deportation proceedings, received without warning, seems to be related to her advocacy work on behalf of migrant detainees," read the UN statement. Experts who signed on included special rapporteurs on arbitrary detention, the human rights of migrants, and human rights defenders.

The UN experts also expressed concern that Mora-Villalpando's deportation notice was part of a wider pattern of retaliation against immigration activists under the Trump administration. Read their full statements here.