ICE’s efficiency in this matter is impressive, but this girl has absolutely no regard for America’s laws and will sneak across the border again:
An immigration activist who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year has been deported to Mexico, the church’s pastor said.
Elvira Arellano was arrested Sunday afternoon outside Our Lady Queen of Angels church in Los Angeles. She was deported several hours later, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where Arellano had taken refuge.
“She has been deported. She is free and in Tijuana,” said Coleman, who said he spoke to her on the phone. “She is in good spirits. She is ready to continue the struggle against the separation of families from the other side of the border.”
A message left with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials late Sunday was not immediately returned.
Arellano, 32, has become a symbol of the struggles of illegal immigrant parents and a source of controversy. She had said Saturday she was not afraid of being taken into custody by immigration agents.
“From the time I took sanctuary the possibility has existed that they arrest me in the place and time they want,” she said in Spanish. “I only have two choices. I either go to my country, Mexico, or stay and keep fighting. I decided to stay and fight.”
Coleman said Arellano had brought to light her struggle, and for that, “she has won a victory.”
Arellano came to Washington state illegally in 1997. She was deported to Mexico shortly after, but returned and moved to Illinois in 2000, taking a job cleaning planes at O’Hare International Airport.
She was arrested in 2002 at O’Hare and convicted of working under a false Social Security number. She was to surrender to authorities last August.
She sought refuge at the storefront church on Chicago’s West Side Aug. 15, 2006. She had not left the church property until deciding to be driven to Los Angeles, Coleman said.
Since she was deported just to Tijuana, she’ll be back. According to an article in the Opinion (translated), two California congressman are working to pass legislation just for Arellano that would legalize her. The precedent would be awful.