Maru Mora Villalpando | KNKX

Maru Mora Villalpando

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

Will James / KNKX

A local critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies is going to be in the audience at the president’s first State of the Union address. 

Maru Mora Villalpando, a Bellingham-based activist who is facing deportation, is attending Tuesday's speech as a guest of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state. 

Will James / KNKX

UPDATED Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 4:15 P.M. with a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Federal authorities have begun deportation proceedings against a Washington activist known for criticizing the government's immigration enforcement efforts. 

Maru Mora Villalpando told reporters Tuesday that on Dec. 20 she received a certified letter ordering her to appear before an immigration judge in Seattle. The notice said a court date would be set later.