By Megan Sokol
After a contentious fight against the Seattle court system, local immigration activist Maru Mora-Villalpando has permission to stay in the United States to petition her citizenship.
A court decision on Tuesday, June 26 granted Mora-Villalpando the ability to apply for a green card through her daughter, Josefina Mora, who is a U.S. citizen. Mora-Villalpando can legally petition to stay in the country after her daughter turns 21 years old.
Mora-Villalpando was in tears when she learned she would be staying with her daughter, according to Crosscut.
In her first court appearance on March 15, Mora-Villalpando invited hundreds of activists and protestors to stand with her outside the Seattle Immigration Court, the Seattle PI reported.
Protestors shouted for the downfall of Immigration Customs Enforcement and liberation of Latino immigrants, shouting “Chigra la Migra!” translating to f**k ICE , according to Seattle PI.
While the second hearing was scheduled for May 30, it was postponed due to the judge’s undisclosed personal reasons, according to a Western Front article.
Mora-Villalpando heads Northwest Detention Center Resistance and is the policy advocate and media coordinator for Community to Community Development in Bellingham, according to the Western Front.
Mora-Villalpando was under ICE investigation shortly after she announced she was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico in a Whatcom Watch Online interview, according to Seattle Weekly. Mora-Villalpando believes she was under investigation because she was protesting against ICE, according to the article.
ICE conducted its legal process through Form I-213, which allows removal procedures, according to Seattle Weekly. This is the document that petitioned for Mora-Villalpando’s removal which also stated her involvement with activist groups.
According to Crosscut, Mora-Villalpando was surprised by the court’s decision.
“I just want to say that I’m really really happy… because of the possibility of staying here with my daughter,” Mora-Villalpando said to Melissa Hellmann from Seattle Weekly.