A CALL TO SUPPORT THE CASE OF ELVIRA ARELLANO Stand in solidarity with all immigrants, documented and undocumented
The IAC urges you to support the case of Elvira Arellano. Elvira is an undocumented worker who is taking a heroic stand against deportations and fighting for her rights. She is a native of Michoacán, Mexico who came to the U.S. like many of the other 12 million undocumented in this country, in search of work and a better life.
In 2002, Elvira was detained by Homeland Security agents in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep at O’Hare Airport in Chicago under the guise of allegedly looking for “terrorists”. She was detained by the Department of Homeland Security for using a false social security number on her job at O’Hare.
On August 18, 2006 Elvira Arellano and her seven year old son, Saul who is a US citizen, took sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago instead of reporting for deportation, primarily because Saul has health problems. She has pledged to live indefinitely in the church until granted a reprieve.
Elvira is a well known activist, representing many families in Congressional hearings and speaking on behalf of immigrant rights. She worked to organize in July 2005 a march of 50,000 for immigrant rights in Chicago, and went on a hunger strike to support workers who were picked up by ICE prior to the historic May 1st boycott in 2006. Arellano was a founder of both La Familia Latina Unida and the Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII).
The case of Elvira Arellano is a just case
Elvira Arellano has become the symbol of resistance to the heartless and callous deportations that are sweeping the country. Despite a legislative standstill in Congress, not only are deportations escalating, local officials around the nation are implementing de facto immigration policy that amount to a witch-hunt against immigrants. A case in point is the anti-immigrant ordinance that passed in July in Hazelton, PA.
Due to her heroic stand, a group of Black ministers spoke last week at Adalberto Methodist of the comparisons of Arellano to Rosa Parks. Reverend Albert Tyson said he hopes “their support would increase the bonds between Latinos and African-Americans.” At the meeting Arellano said, “I don’t only speak for me and my son, but for millions of families like mine.” Supporters from the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood chanted, “Luchando mano y mano, Boriqua y Mexicano!” (“Fighting hand in hand, Puerto Rican and Mexican!”)
Elvira Arellano is the perfect example that the anti-immigrant hysteria sweeping the country is an inhumane situation that has become intolerable. The human rights of immigrants are being cruelly violated under the guise of fighting terrorism or stopping “illegal” immigration. In fact, no human being is illegal and whether in the U.S. documented or undocumented, immigrants have a right to live in peace, without fear of evictions from their homes or the country.
How you can help Elvira:
1. Write letters to Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama as well as your own legislator urging them to prevent her deportation.
3. Send letters of support directly to Elvira at the organization she works with and who has been spearheading her support, Sin Fronteras at Centro Sin Fronteras 2300 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago IL 60608 or visit the website: www.legalizationyes.com. For Spanish speakers visit: www.legalizacionsi.com