An abortion activist with a criminal history may be deported to Mexico after a judge rejected her plea for asylum Tuesday.
Arizona immigration Judge Thomas Michael O’Leary referenced 33-year-old Alejandra Pablos’s criminal history as a reason for his decision, according to the Tucson Sentinel.
Pablos is an abortion and immigration activist with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, according to Rewire. She also works with We Testify, a pro-abortion group that encourages women to share publicly how they benefited from aborting their unborn babies.
She told the judge that sending her back to Mexico would make her a target for persecution because of her abortion activism and asked for asylum, the report states. The judge disagreed, saying she did not meet the criteria for asylum in the U.S.
Pablos was convicted of DUI in 2007 and 2010; she lost her permanent resident status two years ago after a drug-related arrest, Rewire reports. The Arizona Daily Star lists her convictions from 2005 to 2010 as follows: “a DUI, endangerment, aggravated DUI and solicitation to possess a dangerous drug.”
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Pablos claimed she has not been given the chance to fix her mistakes.
“Some of us don’t get or don’t have the privilege to make mistakes, or to go back and fix them and say, ‘I moved forward and things are different,’” she told the left-wing magazine. “I find myself sometimes saying, you know, that I don’t have any violent charges and things like that when I’m fighting and when I’m trying to win this case. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who has violent charges and who doesn’t.”
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But O’Leary said Pablos has “not shown genuine rehabilitation.”
She spent at least two years at a detention facility as a result of her convictions. After being released, “Pablos decided to work on social justice projects, and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In January, Pablos was detained during a demonstration at a Homeland Security facility in Virginia while leading chants. Prosecutors later dropped the charge of obstruction and trespassing, however, when she returned to Eloy [the detention center] for her check-in in March, she was detained,” according to the Sentinel.
Pablos said she plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
“I’ve been living here since I was a baby, and Arizona is the place where I’ve grown up and learned how to fight for our rights,” she said in a statement. “I will continue to fight for my right to stay here, to speak out about my story.”
Some abortion activists have claimed ICE targeted Pablos because of her political activism.
The agency denied this. Yasmeen Pitts-O’Keefe, a spokeswoman for the ICE in Phoenix, told the newspaper that they do “not target unlawfully present aliens for arrest based on advocacy positions they hold or in retaliation for critical comments they make. Any suggestion to the contrary is irresponsible, speculative and inaccurate.”
Pablos is active in the pro-abortion movement. She aborted an unborn baby in 2017, saying although she wanted the baby, she felt that “it just wasn’t the right time.” Pablos blamed the “broken, cruel immigration in the U.S.” for making her afraid to give birth to a child, saying she feared being torn away from her child “if I had one.”