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Beyond the Headlines: Elvira Arellana's Story and a Call for Solidarity in the Fight for Immigration Reform

Join outspoken immigration activist Emma Lozano, President of Centro Sin Fronteras, and Reverend Walter L. Coleman of Adalberto United Methodist Church, where Elvira Arellano took sanctuary on August 15, 2006. 

Elvira Arellano is a 31-year-old single mother, former airport worker, and undocumented immigrant who took sanctuary last August at Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago.  Elvira was arrested in 2002 as part of a post-9/11 sweep of airport workers with unregistered social security numbers.  At that time she refused voluntary deportation and won a stay of deportation through private bills introduced in Congress on her behalf.  During the next four years she emerged as a leader in the struggle for undocumented immigrants' rights by calling for a moratorium on raids and deportations, meeting with U.S. congressmen and senators in Washington, and co-founding (with Emma Lozano) La Familia Latina Unida, an organization of families with U.S. citizen children facing separation from undocumented parents.  Elvira entered sanctuary with her son Saul, a U.S. citizen, after the Department of Homeland Security refused her stay of deportation in August 2006.


Recorded Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

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