SEATTLE (AP) — Human rights experts with the United Nations are calling on the U.S. to protect immigrant rights activists from deportation, saying they’re concerned about “an increasing pattern of intimidation and retaliation against people defending migrants’ rights.”

In a statement Wednesday , a Geneva-based group with the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said deportation proceedings against Seattle-area activist Maru Mora Villalpando appeared to be in retaliation for her political work.

Villalpando has been in the U.S. since 1996. She says she has been ordered to appear in immigration court, even though she has never had any interaction with law enforcement that might trigger deportation proceedings.

A federal judge in New York also recently expressed “grave concerns” that activist Ravi Ragbir had been targeted for deportation because of his activism.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has denied any retaliation.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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