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Illegal alien, twice deported, allowed to remain another year

March 16, 2017 at 11:50 am 23 News
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Elvira Arellano, the twice-deported immigration activist whose year of living in a Humboldt Park church a decade ago made her a lightning rod in the immigration debate, was granted a reprieve Wednesday and allowed to remain in the United States for another year.

“I want to send a message to the community so they can all fight together and not stay home and watch how all of the executive orders are affecting us,” Arellano said Wednesday through a translator after leaving a meeting with federal officials. “It could be the fighting that we could convince Donald Trump to do something for us.”

Arellano, 42, and her lawyer attended an annual check-in Wednesday morning with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, the third such appointment since she returned to the U.S. from Mexico in 2014.

Authorities extended her parole for one more year. She is awaiting a hearing on her petition for political asylum, which she filed three years ago.

The routine appointments — part of a parole system for people living in the U.S. illegally — have become dicey for some immigrants since President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up enforcement and expanded the pool of immigrants who are targeted for removal.

In Phoenix, a single father of three U.S.-born children reported to a regular meeting to discuss his request for asylum and was deported the next day. In Denver, a mother of four fearful of that same fate skipped her meeting and sought sanctuary in a church like Arellano did a decade ago. Meanwhile, other immigrants have gone to their check-ins and been allowed to stay in the U.S.

Arellano plans to check in as planned. Her son Saul, 18, will accompany his mother and 3-year-old Mexican-born brother Emiliano. Forced to say goodbye to his mother surrounded by armed federal agents 10 years ago, Saul Arellano hopes it won’t come to that again.

“Our families made the struggle coming here and sacrificing their lives,” he said. “It’s now our time to fight for them because they have rights as human beings. It’s time for the youth to rise up and fight for our parents … We’re not going back any more. We’re going forward.”

Supporters of Trump’s efforts to increase deportations have said people like Arellano exemplify the arrogance of immigrants who are here illegally but believe they have a right to stay. Arellano broke laws, including coming to the U.S. more than once without legal documentation, and shouldn’t be allowed to remain, they say.

Arellano’s journey as an activist began in the late 1990s when the economy collapsed in her Mexican home state, Michoacan. Like many women, Arellano went to work in a maquiladora, a factory on the U.S. border, making only $5.60 a week. After crossing the border once unsuccessfully, she tried again in 1997 and headed for Yakima, Wash., to join family.

She worked as a baby-sitter and had Saul. In 2000, she moved to Chicago, where she joined other family members and took a job vacuuming planes at O’Hare International Airport.

Months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, federal agents came to her house in Chicago at dawn as part of Operation Tarmac, a nationwide sweep of airport employees living in the U.S. illegally. In addition to re-entering the country illegally after a prior deportation, Arellano had been working with a fake Social Security number. A federal defender convinced her to plead guilty to a felony and removal proceedings began, said her attorney Chris Bergin.

Arellano, a shy but fierce mother, fought every turn of her case. She was granted at least three stays of deportation. But in August 2006 she was told to report to the Department of Homeland Security for removal. Instead of showing up on the morning of her appointment, she stepped up to the pulpit of Adalberto United Methodist Church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, vowing to stay in the church indefinitely with her then-7-year-old son, a U.S. citizen.

Arellano became the face of the new sanctuary movement, a political strategy in the U.S. that first unfolded in the 1980s. Drawing from sacred texts that teach loving thy neighbor and welcoming the stranger, churches and synagogues committed acts of civil disobedience by housing immigrants fleeing civil wars in Central America.

Though churches can’t guarantee protection, they are generally off limits to law enforcement raids. In fact, a 2011 memo from the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement further instructed federal agents to avoid “sensitive locations” including hospitals, schools and houses of worship unless there is an imminent risk.

Arellano stayed in the Humboldt Park church for a year. She was arrested in Los Angeles where she had traveled for an immigration reform rally and was deported that same day. Saul joined her a month later.

“Ten years since I took sanctuary, time has proved to us that what we did was correct,” she said in a recent interview through a translator. “It’s necessary to protect families. It’s a place where families and children can go to wage that resistance.”

Arellano’s activism continued in Mexico, where she fought for better treatment of Central Americans traveling through to the U.S. to seek asylum. She dodged gunfire at rallies, received death threats and locked the doors of her home in Michocoan to prevent kidnappers from taking Saul. In 2014, she led a group of asylum seekers to the U.S. border and encouraged them to cross. She called Saul and suggested he join her in doing the same. He did and they were detained.

A U.S. citizen, Saul was quickly released. Elvira and then-5-month-old Emiliano stayed in detention for two days before they were released to petition for asylum. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who has championed Arellano’s case for the past decade, admits he was stunned.

“I was surprised. But Elvira’s case is different now,” he said. “She’s been very outspoken in her criticism of the Mexican government. That puts you in a pretty delicate situation.”

Bergin said Arellano met the “credible fear test,” which qualified her to seek asylum. She was granted parole to await a hearing, he said. Last year, he asked ICE to extend that parole for a year while she continued to wait. He will ask for another extension on Wednesday.

“She’s actually in good shape because she filed for political asylum and they still have not dealt with that,” he said. “There’s nothing they can do to her because that’s all pending.”

Still, Bergin concedes that because the rules are changing, nothing is guaranteed. Arellano is not worried. Previous check-ins have gone smoothly, she said. After every check-in, she has been able to renew her work permit and continue building a life in the U.S.

Right now, Arellano, who has a legal work permit, holds down two jobs — one preparing food at a Puerto Rican restaurant and another delivering the Chicago Tribune at dawn. Emiliano’s father and Saul, who is set to graduate from high school in June, also work several jobs to help make ends meet. Only English is spoken at home with Emiliano, and so she is slowly learning the language herself.

But on a recent Sunday, Arellano stepped to the pulpit of Lincoln United Methodist Church in Pilsen and delivered a stirring rallying cry in Spanish. She urged Mexican nationals in the pews to vote in that country’s 2018 election to affect change.

“Right now in (Mexico) there’s also a political change,” she said. “Now we’re given the opportunity here as Mexicans to vote outside our country to elect the new president in 2018.”

“The fight is here right now,” she said.

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(c)2017 the Chicago Tribune

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Rating: 2.8/10 (5 votes cast)

Illegal alien, twice deported, allowed to remain another year, 2.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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23 Comments

  1. captjellico March 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Speaking as a Hispanic American, I hope ICE agents drag her out and throw her into the back of a van and process her for immediate deportment. And if she shows back up, prosecute her; let her spend a year or two in prison, then deport her again.

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    • inluminatuo March 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      I say ICE should take her up in an aircraft 10,000 ft and parachute her deep into the Mexican dessert with a warning that if she comes backs, the next time she forfeits the benefit of a parachute. Abuse your compassion the first time, you lose it the second time.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
    • ltuser
      ltuser March 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Illumin. SINCE she has already been deported and ILLEGALLY CAME BACK IN twice, IMO he has already FORFEITED her right to have the parachute.. AND why is it only NOW has she claimed asylum? WHY not when she first came in?? WAS it by chance cause she actually got deported?

      I have LONG felt if you sneak into a country and attempt to live there illegally for more than 3 months, and ONLY attempt to claim asylum WHEN you are being deported (or after being arrested FOR deportation), that your claim should be immediately DENIED… JUST like if you pass through 2 or more ‘safe countries’ before getting in the one you “WANT” (cause of what benefits it hands out) that your claim of asylum should be immediately discarded..

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  2. EFG2 March 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    “Our families made the struggle coming here and sacrificing their lives,” he said. “It’s now our time to fight for them because they have rights as human beings. It’s time for the youth to rise up and fight for our parents … We’re not going back any more. We’re going forward.”

    What a total crock, there isn’t a single argument in that self serving paragraph about why she should be allowed to stay after being previously deported twice and she keeps coming back.

    If this argument works, I have a bank I’m planning on moving into their vault and making a claim on their money.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (10 votes cast)
    • usafoldsarge
      usafoldsarge March 16, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Trump needs to immediately revoke that order and immediately transport to the nearest Mex/US border, brand palms and backs of both hands and forehead IA with the admonition- return and you will be executed on site. She is different than a hard working Illegal farmworker. She is and has been a trouble maker. Harsh, maybe. Effective, probably.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser March 16, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      So she feels cause her parents came in Illegally that gives her ANY RIGHTS to demand we chance OUR laws to suit her and her fellow ILLEGAL INVADERS?? IMO she has no damn rights..!

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  3. JYuma March 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    She came here Illegally. She made she Bed. She most sleep in it. Deport her, ASAP.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  4. Jim March 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Kick her *** out pronto! We don’t need or want her kind in the US. She has no respect for law. She is perfect example of what’s wrong in our nation today.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)
    • worldtraveller77 March 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Include her two “ANKOR BABIES” to. This is one of the biggest TRAVESTIES our Citizens allowed the Communist Democrats to implement such illegal law! Citizenship by Birth was established only to give “FULL”citizenship to Black SLAVES!!!!
      Is there anywhere in the Constitution were it says that we have to accept everyone that feels entitled to live in America. Demand that we feed them, house them, take care of their medical needs?
      Our own Citizens can’t afford to have enough of our own CHILDREN!!! Family REUNIFICATION is an other boondoggle! If they want to live with their FAMILIES why do they invade OUR COUNTRY???
      LOOK AT THE CULTURE WE HAVE BECAME. !!!!! “SEWAGE”

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  5. Sparten1 March 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    This is exactly why when children are born here from illegal aliens they should not become automatic citizens. That right should only be afforded to those who are American citizens.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser March 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      THIS is why i have said many times that BIRTH RIGHT citizenship should be immediately repealed as a law. ONLY APPLY it if ONE of the parents at a MINIMUM is an American citizen…

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  6. oldgoat1945 March 16, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    All this time and still can’t speak English. She must not want to be a US citizen very bad.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser March 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Back on my first Med cruise in the 90s, we had a pair of ICE agents come aboard our carrier, to give us a briefing for when we stood watches, on how to handle foreigners running to the ship to claim asylum. He after wards, went into some stories of what he has personally seen, and one was about a pair of Brazilians who were deported in the late 80s, who had been here OVER 35 years each and STILL DIDN’t speak one lick of English.. So it’s not surprising to ME that we still are seeing illegal invaders who don’t bother learning the language…

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  7. me109g4 March 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    She obviously has no respect for the law in this country. Believing she is exempt from the law, and having re entered the US after deportation should earn her some time in jail followed by immediate deportation. I am a legal immigrant,, I had to do it the right way, took over nine months and that was back in 1970,, what makes her feel she is exempt from the same laws I had to follow to get here?

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  8. FrankC March 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Deport her now, she has no right to breathe OUR air for even one minute. But this is why we need that wall built, so people like her can’t just walk across our border into our country.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
    • ltuser
      ltuser March 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      This is why i keep saying we need a DEATH FIELD along the border. To hell with just a wall. MAKE it a full on death barrier.. That way we no longer hear stories of someone who got deported 2 to 8 times, who is now under arrest YET AGAIN…

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  9. doced March 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Over time, my once accepting disposition towards those leaving their (assumed) desperate conditions, choosing to invade another country, this one, for more favorable ones, has been changed because of widespread activism claiming non-existent rights and privileges, refusing to fully assimilate, demonstrating against the U.S. government, demanding free education, IN SPANISH, NO LESS, housing, welfare, and public accommodation, such as countless official documents duplicated IN SPANISH, AT OUR EXPENSE. Couple all those arrogant impositions with egregious acts of aggression, violence, mockery of American citizens’ protests and righteous anxiety, (how many are violent is irrelevant), blatant and flagrant abuse of our generosity, the foolish and reckless complicity of thoughtless do-gooders, priests, ministers, politicians, not to forget self-serving and law-breaking employers sacrificing American workers to clandestine profits on the backs of the invaders, and today I say, evict them all, including their so-called and cynically procreated “anchor babies.” The cost to our culture, our economy, our national integrity, is massive, and since no one knows how many invaders there are, incalculable. All this is unprecedented. (continued)

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  10. docsuske March 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Ridiculous, isn’t it? I think they should move her in with one of our hollywood “supporters”/enablers.

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  11. doced March 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but all previous immigrants wanted to BECOME AMERICANS. We didn’t print government forms in Polish, or Italian, or German, or Swedish, or Vietnamese, or Chinese, and these eager immigrants made it their business to adapt, learn English, assimilate, apply for citizenship, and proudly take the oath. This, today, is an entirely different and truly alien situation. The Lefty-Loonies and their bleeding-heart colleagues, whose own satisfaction from doing what they believe is “good,” care not a whit for the extremely negative consequences this invasion by millions of uninvited aliens have upon US, citizens, whose rights, prerogatives, and choices are not simply ignored, but denounced. Why we aren’t outraged by this is truly baffling. It’s obvious, folks, that if WE don’t stand up for ourselves, defend our lives, our property, our future, the spineless government, altogether too often cooperating with this wholesale disdain and disrespect for US, citizens, surely will not. President Trump faces the likes of open-border, amnesty advocate Ryan, and the eunuch McConnell, plus all the other snowflakes in Congress who care only for the p.c. effect on their re-election prospects. When will it be enough to instigate proper reaction from US?

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    • maximusprime1 March 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      D’s want more illegals to get more votes to keep dems in power. End of story. There IS NO RIGHT in the US CONSTITUTION that says ANYONE can COME to USA from the REST of the WORLD just because they want to. CITIZENS of FOREIGN nations simply do NOT have any RIGHT to admission INTO the United States. Congress has TOTAL control of immigration VIA the Constitution. During the great depression in the 30’s FDR stopped ALL immigration from EVERYWHERE, a prez DOES have the right VIA FED LAW to DO that. Both prez TRUMAN and Eisenhower KICKED OUT illegals by FORCE during their time in office. Jimmy Carter even kicked many Iranians OUT of USA. Trump is doing his constitutional DUTY to enforce the “laws of the land” and keep USA SAFE from the radicals. ONE anchor baby can bring 50+ ppl to USA legally and get full govt $ / welfare. There are 6 billion + ppl on the globe. Even d’s ought to know 6+ billion ppl won’t even fit in USA. In MN almost ALL muslims are on welfare for EVERYTHING. USA allows muslim to have 4 wives + all children.

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  12. Buckmister_OFama March 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    No one should be rewarded for having broken the law. Illegal immigrants must take responsibility for their actions. It’s time to end “soil citizenship” and revoke the citizenship of anyone born of an illegal immigrant.

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    • worldtraveller77 March 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      It make’s my blood boil every time I hear ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. There is no such thing!!! Either they are IMMIGRANTS , ILLEGAL ALIENS or INVADERS!!!!! All this nightmare started with ” LYNDON JOHNSON ” after the Vietnam War when he opened the FLOODGATES for Masses of people from Asia.
      Soon after the gates to the south opened and MILLIONS upon MILLIONS arrived from Mexico, central and South America! Caribbean, Africa and now the MIDDLE EAST!!! MUSSLIMS, their goal is to take over the World! Convert everyone to ISLAM and if you do not, just guess what happens to you. Just look around the world how many Country are under their CONTROL!!!

      We were a Land of IMMIGRANTS when this country was founded, Immigrants from EUROPE we were from the same ” COULTURE “. It was easy to ASSIMILATE, we believed in the same religion, we were able to join together and build our Country and our CONSTITUTION that has worked well until the middle of last Century. We accepted the same LANGUAGE which is very essential for a Country to Fleurish.
      The Communists predicted after WW2 that they will invade EUROPE and AMERICA not with weapons but enter from the BACK DOOR! The Democrats Hungry for power were more than willing to accept the
      ” Karl Marx and Engels Doctrine! Now we see the results!

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  13. Zeigfried Whiffle March 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    That’ll teach ’em….

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