Elvira Arellano arrested in Los Angeles
August 19, 2007 6 Comments
The name might not sound familiar to most, but she is the Mexican woman who caused a stir by seeking sanctuary in a Chicago church, so she wouldn’t have to attend her deportation hearing, slated for August 15, 2006.
According to her Wikipedia entry, here is a brief history of her travails here in the Unites States:
- 1997, she enters the US illegally from México, she is apprehended and then deported (She manages to re-enter the US illegally within days of her deportation and makes it to Oregon where she resides for 3 years)
- 1999, she gives birth to a son who is automatically a U.S. citizen
- In 2000 she moves to Chicago
- In 2002, she is arrested and convicted for using a false Social Security number (she gets 3 years probation)
- She is also ordered to appear before immigration authorities on August 15, 2006 (for a deportation hearing)
- Instead of doing this she goes to a Chicago-area church to seek sanctuary to avoid arrest and subsequent deportation.
Today, Ms. Arellano was arrested in Los Angeles, where she had spoken at 3 churches to speak about immigration. She was picked up by ICE before she could go to a fourth.
I understand that this issue of immigration is highly contentious and to be honest there is a personal dimension in all this for me.
Personal feelings aside, the fact of the matter is that this woman has defied U.S. Law in various ways. It is not racist to say that, it is just a statement of facts. Some good-intentioned folk who are led by emotion have a real problem with facts, and might tend to ignore what the laws in the books have to say about this issue (a close examination of México’s immigration policies is quite surprising given how that government cries foul at U.S. immigration policy).
It has to be acknowledged that some anti-immigration rhetoric is racist at its core. Some folks who are also emotion-driven (though on the other side of the ‘aisle’) and keep expunging on the illegality of what people like Elvira do, are hardly as stringent with themselves and the ones they love as they seem to be with people different from them, for example ask one of these people if they always drive the speed limit and watch them lose their cool (if they had it to begin with).
Since it’s best to apply things on a specific case basis, what should be done in Elvira Arellano’s case? Clearly, the law demands that she must be sent back to México, but what about her son? After all, he is a U.S. citizen and cannot be deported.