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Church to Harbor Another Illegal Immigrant

By Prescott Carlson in News on Jan 27, 2008 4:40PM

The Adalberto United Methodist Church and its leader Reverend "Slim" Coleman have returned to the forefront of the immigration debate. You might remember them as the church who gave refuge for a year to Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant facing deportation for falsifying documents in order to secure employment at O'Hare. Arellano left the church last August and was subsequently arrested in Los Angeles and escorted to the Mexico border.

Since Immigration and Customs Enforcement showed their reluctance to create the bad press of raiding a church (Adalberto's claim of "sanctuary" is not valid -- the church has no legally recognized sanctuary status), Rev. Coleman has received requests to provide sanctuary to several other immigrants on the verge of deportation. The church has decided to grant the request of Flor Crisóstomo, who is scheduled to report for deportation tomorrow, January 28. Crisóstomo was recently at an immigration rally in New York City, and got up in Lou Dobbs grill:

[Crisóstomo] confronted Dobbs and asked him why he doesn’t talk about the effects of policies like NAFTA on immigrants’ home countries, which force workers to migrate when their livelihoods are taken away.

So until the feds decide to screw the negative publicity (could it get any worse, anyway?) and take action against Adalberto, it looks like the church and Rev. Coleman will continue to provide a PR platform for the immigration reform movement for a long time to come. [Trib]

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