New York City banner drop at Times Square. Photo: Oscar Diaz.

New York City banner drop at Times Square. Photo: Oscar Diaz.

Alejandra Pablos after her release on April 19. Liberation photo: Steven Levin

Alejandra Pablos after her release on April 19. Liberation photo: Steven Levin

Alejandra Pablos, a nationally recognized immigrant rights activist, was released on bond April 19. The community of supporters in Eloy, Arizona, and nationwide rejoiced. After 42 days in ICE custody, nearly 25,000 signatures on a petition demanding her release, and three major city (New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles) banner drops calling attention to her case the night before, Alejandra Pablos was granted bond.

From this victory it has become clear that organizing works. People heard Alejandra’s story and rallied for her release. Ale’s bond was $8,000. Jesus Magaña credited the relatively small amount to the community that had rallied around Ale’s release

In a video by Mijente (a national Latinx organization), Alejandra Pablos’ mother Rossy Espiru and brother Jesus Magaña stated, “It has been rough for the last several weeks for sure, but at no point have we felt alone.”

More than 50 people from all over the hemisphere gathered outside the Eloy detention center to show support for Ale during her bond hearing. The mood was festive, especially after it was announced that Ale was to be released. A large, sustained cheer went up from the crowd and everyone settled in to wait for her to be released, with food and introductions.

Texas and California, key states in the fight for immigration rights were among the states represented. The video of Ale’s family and Mijente organizers announcing the details of her release has received over 10,000 views.

Why was Alejandra Pablos detained in the first place?

Alejandra Pablos was a legal permanent resident when she was placed in deportation proceedings after a drug-related arrest. She was previously detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement for two years. She has since dedicated her time to fighting for immigration rights and reproductive health. At a peaceful action in Virginia in front of the Department of Homeland Security, she was leading chants. There is speculation that she was recognized by the police officers who arrested her (AZCentral). Although later released, the arrest flagged her case for her immigration proceedings. A few months later, when she went for her routine check-in with ICE, she was silently detained.

Following the victory of her release from ICE custody, Mijente is asking that we continue to fight for Ale’s liberation and demand that Arizona Governor pardon Ale. A new petition drive has been launched making this demand. This would allow her to stay in the United States without fear of deportation.

We cannot stop now. Ale’s release is a broader win for immigration activism. It demonstrates the power of the people when we are united and organized. In the fight of Ale vs. ICE, let’s demand a permanent win!

Steven Levin from Phoenix contributed to this article.