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Immigrant Song

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 30, 2006 7:06PM


By now there's no doubt you've heard of Elvira Arellano, even if the name doesn't sound immediately familiar. She's the illegal Mexican immigrant that's been holed up in Adalberto United Methodist Church on the West Side since mid-August. So far she's been deported once in 1997 and arrested once in 2002; now she's hiding in sanctuary with her naturalized 7-year-old son, Saul.

Oh, but she's not sitting on her hands in there, idly fiddling with candles and flower arrangements. She's become the face of the immigration debate in Chicago and around the nation. The pastor of the church, Rev. Walter Coleman, took it upon himself to go to court on her and her son's behalf, asking if it violated Saul's constitutional rights if his mother were to be deported. On Friday, a US District Court judge ruled that it did not. In fairness, the judge called it a potential "hardship" for the boy. (No shit.) The cops, in theory, could just cart her away to the border and leave her son behind. Not that they'd do that anytime soon. They haven't so far, and US Immigration and Customs in Dallas has basically said, "We'll get to it when we get to it." doesn't seem like much of a threat at the moment, and Rev. Coleman says "[this] doesn't change anything." Still, it has to come to a head sooner or later. However, something tells us that a woman who's already sneaked back into the country once and who has the cojones to keep up this fight wouldn't take being separated from her son lying down.

Image via get directly down

Thanks, Shannon!