8.16.2007

Elvira Arellano Takes Cause to Washington, DC

Elvira Arellano, an immigrant activist and international symbol for the just treatment of migrants, will leave her Chicago church sanctuary on September 12, 2007.

Elvira Arellano travel to Washington, DC where she will join supporters in fasting and praying for a humane and just solution to the situation of immigrant families.

For a year, Ms Arellano and her U.S. Citizen son, Saul, have been given sanctuary in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago's mostly Puerto Rican Humboldt Square neighborhood. Under the protection of the store front church and the community, Ms. Arellano, 32, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, emerged as an international leader for the humane treatment of migrants.

Arellano has become a crusader and a symbol of hope for migrant people seeking justice. Migrants seek changes in national policies that are out of sync with the needs of a globalizing world, and which punish the people most vulnerable to economic and political dislocation.

Ms. Arellano's special cause is that of the undocumented immigrant parent with U.S. born--and, therefore, U.S. citizen--children. In these cases, federal immigration policy works to break families apart by deporting the parents and/or imprisoning parents and the children in U.S. concentration camps and deporting them all

Not only is this U.S. practice barbaric, but it denies U.S. citizen children of immigrants their constitutional rights.

Ms. Arellano is aware that bad things can happen en route or while in Washington, DC. America and the world has a long history of human rights activists being taunted, imprisoned and even martyered.

"If this government would separate me from my son, let them do it in front of the men and women who have the responsibility to fix this broken law and uphold the principles of human dignity."
The world no doubt will be watching to see how the U.S. authorities, politicians, the media and the American people respond. Given the harsh rhetoric of the rightwing, xenophobic politicians, and racist Americans, the outcome may be a sad one. But the cause for the humane and just treatment of America's--and indeed, the world's--migrants will have only just begun.

Also see Immigration activist to leave sanctuary
Elvira Arellano: Saul's Mom and Immigrant Rights Leader
Saul's Letter to President Bush