Chicago Mother Deported to Mexico

August 20, 2007

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Supporters of Elvira Arellano protest Sunday night in downtown Chicago.

Immigration authorities in Los Angeles deported Elvira Arellano late on Sunday night. This past year, Arellano defied authorities by seeking sanctuary in a Chicago church.

Chicago Public Radio's Chip Mitchell has more.

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Elvira Arellano left Adalberto United Methodist for the first time in more than a year for a trip to California this weekend. She and her 8-year-old son, a U.S. citizen, were starting a national tour aimed at rekindling immigration reform efforts in Congress. Immigration agents pulled over a car carrying her from a Los Angeles church Sunday. The passengers included her pastor, Reverend Walter Coleman.

COLEMAN: This woman who was not a terrorist or a threat to anyone in this country took a public, principled position that this government must deal with this crisis.

But a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement yesterday called Arellano a criminal alien. Her supporters say the agency deported her to the Mexican city of Tijuana late last night. They held a rain-soaked protest at the agency's office in downtown Chicago.

Ambi: El pueblo callado, jamás será escuchado...

The hundred activists there included Flor Crisóstomo.

CRISÓSTOMO: Yo pienso que nuestra gente tiene que despertar... 

She says her people have to wake up and organize for reform. Activists are planning another protest at the office Monday morning. Reverend Coleman says Arellano appointed him and his wife as the boy's guardians.

I'm Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio.