Reproductive justice and immigrant rights activist Alejandra Pablos has been denied asylum and ordered to be deported by an immigration judge in Tucson, Arizona. Alejandra has lived in the United States almost her entire life and has been fighting deportation for eight years. Advocates are now calling on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to pardon Alejandra.
Arizona has some of the harshest felony statutes in the country. As a young person in the state, Alejandra was arrested and convicted of several charges, including DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia. In 2011, after complying with court orders, she was detained for two years at the Eloy Detention Center, lost her residency, and was placed up for deportation.
Since being released from detention, Alejandra has dedicated her life to helping others, despite the risk that public advocacy posed to her threat of deportation. Alejandra works at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health as the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network field coordinator, works with digital and grassroots social organizing hub Mijente, and is an abortion storyteller with We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
In March, Alejandra traveled from Virginia to Arizona for a scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and was subsequently detained and held in the Eloy Detention Center. After 43 days, she was released after a judge granted her request for bond. Several organizations suspect Alejandra was detained due to her political activism and her participation at a protest outside of the Department of Homeland Security just a few weeks prior.
President Trump’s promise to ramp up the deportation of undocumented immigrants included two sweeping executive orders that gave the federal government almost unrestrained ability to arrest, detain, and deport immigrants. The executive orders, directed toward ICE, indicate that all undocumented immigrants that have been charged with a crime, or “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offence,” even if not convicted, must be prioritized for deportation.
Once the House Democratic majority convenes in January, Nancy Pelosi has promised to pass legislation protecting Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, as well as providing pathways to citizenship, within the first 100 days.
Media Resources: Action Network Petition; Feminist Newswire 4/20/18, 2/21/17, 12/3/18