elvira arellano

Elvira Arellano

Convicted felon and illegal alien from Mexico who, instead of leaving the U.S. as she was ordered to do, holed up in a Chicago church assisted by its pastor Walter Coleman and his wife Emma Lozano in 2006. In 2007 Arellano was deported and continued her push for amnesty from the other side of the border.

Court documents relating to her 2003 arrest had been at immigrationwatchdog.com/?p=2315 but that site isn't online anymore and it doesn't appear to be in archive.org.

Last modified Sep 7, 2014
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Flor Crisostomo: the new Elvira Arellano (sanctuary at Adalberto United Methodist Church) - 01/27/08

Via this we learn that Reverend Walter "Slim" Coleman's Adalberto United Methodist Church continues the struggle for in effect open borders with the announcement that they'll be giving "sanctuary" to another illegal alien, Flor Crisostomo. That church grabbed headlines recently for hosting Elvira Arellano, before she was arrested and deported to Mexico, where she remains.

Crisostomo's statement says in part:

"I am taking a stand of civil disobedience... I believe with all my heart that the United States and Mexico must end the system of undocumented labor."

Obviously, "civil disobedience" requires one to be a citizen; when foreign citizens do it it's something else. And, most Americans would also like to end the "system of undocumented labor", just not in the way she wants.

Crisostomo was arrested in an immigration raid at IFCO Systems in Chicago in 2006. More on that raid here, here, and here. In November of last year she held a hunger strike and protested in front of Rahm Emanuel's office, claiming he wasn't being "democratic" enough for her. That protest may have been the one organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which is headed by someone linked to the Mexican government.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) offered a private relief bill for her, Arellano, and several others (H.R. 2182, link). She was part of the May 1, 2007 pro-illegal immigration march and was part of the Centro Sin Fronteras delegation that joined with the March 10 Movement to organize that march; one leader of the latter group is an official with Mexico's PRD Party (Jorge Mujica). Regarding that march:

Flor Crisostomo wants everybody to know she's in this country illegally. So does Maria del Carmen Santana... The two immigrants from Mexico share the in-your-face attitude that marks preparations for Tuesday's immigration march in downtown Chicago... "Our community is very angry, very, very angry," said Crisostomo... Crisostomo is helping to organize Tuesday's march, making signs and joining in a hunger strike. She decided to speak publicly, she said, "so the greater community can understand we're not here to live on welfare or to not pay taxes. We're part of a bigger problem that needs to be fixed." ...

It also says she had a fake ID, obviously a very common occurrence. Whether it also involved identity theft isn't known. Other reports from People's Weekly world (link) and Socialist Worker (link).

Mexico's PRD Party to establish "migrant houses" in the U.S. - 12/28/07

According to a report in a Mexican newspaper, in 2008 Mexico's leftwing PRD Party will be establishing "migrant houses" inside the U.S. (translation here). They made the announcement in front of the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City, and the secretary general of that party (Carlos Reyes Gamiz) was accompanied by Elvira Arellano. As with Felipe Calderon, Gamiz said he was going to use U.S. non-profits to push their agenda inside the U.S.:

"The PRD has had a past presence in the U.S. territory, where a relationship has been maintained with agencies that defend human rights, and the goal is to share a work agenda, in this environment in which xenofobia and racism have a greater fervor in that country."

The PRD Party played a role in last year's illegal immigration marches in Chicago, due mainly to the efforts of one of their officials, Jorge Mujica.

Immigration "parliament" held in Mexico, with Americans; may lobby in Washington DC - 11/30/07

On November 16 and 17 a group of activists from Mexico and the U.S. met in Mexico City for the "First Parliament of Mexican Migrant Leaders Living In The U.S.A.". This doesn't appear to have been an official Mexican government event, but many of those attending were apparently Mexican political leaders, and some of the Americans attending serve on the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME, www.ime.gob.mx), an advisory council to Mexico's president.

March 10 Committee - 10/30/07

Also known as the March 10 Movement, March 10 Coalition, Diez de Marzo Committee.

Home page at movimiento10demarzo.org

At their site, they declare their unconditional support for Elvira Arellano as well as all other "immigrants" who are in the process of being deported. They also call on all those immigrants who are being deported to apply for asylum and to seek asylum in local churches.

They also oppose employer sanctions and programs to check the SSNs of employees.

Obama immigration interview: he'd make situation far worse (Kevin Johnson/UC Davis) - 09/25/07

Professors Kevin Johnson (lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration), Jennifer Chacon, and Bill Hing of UC Davis have scored a true coup for the blogosphere: an interview about immigration with Barack Obama!

Elvira Arellano, Mexican lawmakers to push immigration "reform" - 08/22/07

It looks like Elvira Arellano is going to be the gift that keeps on giving: she'll continue to push for an amnesty from Mexico, and she'll be assisted in that by Mexican politicians. Her radicalism (see the fifth update to that link) can be used to discredit all of her future efforts and those with whom she's linked; if we're lucky some additional U.S. leaders might decide to help her cause.

From this (via this):
...Mexican authorities and activists wasted no time in trying to capitalize on Arellano's new cachet, scrambling to align themselves with Arellano and gently suggesting what the newest chapter in her life should look like.

On Wednesday, Arellano, 32, plans to travel to Mexico City, where on Thursday she plans to stand with a group of Mexican congressmen to denounce the U.S. Congress for not passing more lenient immigration reforms.

Plans are also under way for Arellano to headline a Sept. 12 rally near Tijuana's border with California, an appearance meant to coincide with a demonstration planned in Washington...

...Rosario Ibarra, a prominent human-rights activist in Mexico City, suggested that Arellano use her celebrity to chastise the Mexican government for not providing enough economic opportunities to keep its people in the country.

Raul Rios, a Mexican congressman from Arellano's home state of Michoacan, suggested she should push Mexican consulates in the U.S. to do more to help undocumented immigrants. "We should start by fixing our own house," Rios said, adding he helped to create a nonpartisan coalition on immigration issues to work with Arellano.

"Elvira is an example, not just for those who live in the United States but for immigrants all over the world," said Jose Jacques [Medina], a Mexican congressman from California. "I think she can convert herself into an icon for a struggle that is even more global, that addresses the root causes of migration."
Yes, the "struggle".

UPDATE: From the AP:
A Mexican Senate committee passed a measure Wednesday urging President Felipe Calderon to send a diplomatic note to the United States protesting the deportation of an illegal migrant who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year.

The committee also approved a scholarship to help her 8-year-old U.S.-born son, Saul, who is an American citizen and stayed in the United States.

..."We cannot remain quiet in view of this injustice and must ask for firm action from our authorities," Mexican Sen. Humberto Zazue said.

He accused the United States of violating international deportation accords by denying her access to the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.

..."For me it is very important that our government take a strong stand to defend all of us who decide to migrate to another country," [EA] said.

Mexican immigrant who sought U.S. sanctuary deported - 08/22/07

Reuters/Kemp Powers/[[August 20, 2007]]/ link

Article about the Elvira Arellano case.

Elvira Arellano arrested by "La Migra"! - 08/19/07

elvira arellano

Convicted criminal Elvira Arellano has been arrested by ICE in downtown Los Angeles. Apparently Telemundo is trying to rile up their audience, but La Opinion only has a brief report (laopinion.com/supp2/?rkey=00000000000002163320).

Will this result in massive riots as supposed Americans who put their race ahead of their country join with foreign citizens who are here illegally to support attempts by some to refuse to abide by our laws? Or, will it go largely unnoticed except by those outside the far-left who'll stage a few small protests? Will corrupt priests like Cardinal Roger Mahoney rally 'round Elvira, or will they decide that for the sake of their little remaining credibility it's best to leave the issue be? Did ICE do this to show that no one is above the law, or did they do it in order to provoke a reaction from the left and use that to get the amnesty they want?

I suspect that come tomorrow people will respond to the name "Elvira" by saying, "You mean, the horror movie presenter?", but we shall see.

UPDATE: "Immigrant Rights Activist Elvira Arrellano Arrested in LA -- Solidarity Actions in Chicago Tonight and Tomorrow" (chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/79065/index.php). Hopefully Democratic politicians won't let the community down and will decide to stand in solidarity with Arellano and in support of massive criminality.

8/20 UPDATE: She was deported to Tijuana late last night (laopinion.com/primerapagina/?rkey=00000000000002166700), and will continue the struggle from the Mexican side of the border. "Citizen Saul" remains in the U.S. with Emma Lozano. U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Bobby Rush will be pushing private citizenship bills. The final paragraph of the article notes that CHIRLA ("Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles"; allegedly has collaborated with the Mexican government) is urging people to express their outrage... by calling Julie Myers of ICE. La Opinion - always willing to help out - even includes her phone number.

Note to GOP and Dem politicians: wouldn't supporting Elvira be a great way to reach out to the Hispanic vote? Many hacks have said that in order to get that supposed vote it's necessary to support amnesty; what difference is there really between that and supporting Elvira? Many or most of those who would have been amnestied are guilty of working under a false Social Security number, with some going even further than Arellano did and engaging in identity theft. The only thing unique about her is that she was unlucky enough to be caught and convicted.

If you're going to support millions of unconvicted lawbreakers in a corrupt plea for votes, surely supporting just one convicted lawbreaker shouldn't be a problem, right?

UPDATE 3: As always, Biff knows best! Please, Democrats, heed his call and stand up for immigrants rights.

UPDATE 4: Unfortunately, so far support from the "mainstream" left appears to be a bit lacking. Patty Kupfer - head of The Sojourners' Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform - offers a sympathetic post (blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/08/sanctuary-movement-activist-ar.html) and links to their magazine, which features her on the cover (sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0709&article=070910a). And, Atrios says (atrios.blogspot.com/2007_08_19_archive.html#8506770275171716290):

You know, there are aspects of the immigration issue where I think well-intentioned people can have wide disagreement on, but I just can't think of any good reason to support the deportation of the parents of American citizens.

Meanwhile, an unknown party has posted a diary entry wondering why John Edwards isn't jumping on this issue.

UPDATE 5: I called attention to this page that Emma Lozano and Arellano wrote (somosunpueblo.com/Unify_and_Focus.html) before (cached here), but I think this is a good paragraph to throw back at anyone foolish enough to support her:

We have taught that our people did not come here because of the American Dream but because of what the American nightmare did to our countries of origin. We have asserted that our demand to be here and to be fully enfranchised here is a right not a privilige and a destiny of our people to transform this nation.

UPDATE 6: The useful idiots/peacenik collaborators at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is "gravely concerned" other her deportation, claiming that she was "ripped away" from Saul (link). In fact, she can always take him with her. Christian Ramirez, an "AFSC national immigrants' rights coordinator", met with her in Tijuana. Their release ends with:

Instead of giving free rein to repressive worksite raids and other punitive enforcement measures, this country needs constructive immigration policies that enable Elvira Arellano and other undocumented parents to remain with their children and find a path to legal residency and citizenship.

Based on her quote above, you might say it's her manifest destiny to get on that path.

Kids taking immigration quest to D.C. - 08/17/07

Casey Woods/Miami Herald/[[July 17, 2007]]/ link

With no immigration overhaul in sight in Congress, immigration advocates have joined a South Florida activist's quixotic quest to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to stop deporting the undocumented parents of American-born children.

September 2 Los Angeles march - 08/17/07

From Taking a stand for all workers rights: In Los Angeles, approximately 3,500 people marched through downtown to City Hall September 2, demanding amnesty for all undocumented immigrants. The march was called in solidarity with Elvira Arellano, a Chicago woman facing deportation who has taken sanctuary in a church.

aka "la Gran Marcha Laboral".

Media alert: Elvira Arellano has left the sanctuary (L.A., DC on tour) - 08/17/07

Elvira Arellano - the illegal alien who was ordered to be deported after being convicted of using a false Social Security number and who's been holed up in a Chicago church for a year and who's only a sympathetic figure to those on the far-left - has left her "sanctuary" and is currently on a road trip.

Emma Lozano, Walter "Slim" Coleman are married - 07/17/07

Here's something I did not know. Emma Lozano (of Chicago's Pueblo Sin Fronteras/Centro Sin Fronteras) is married to the Reverend Walter "Slim" Coleman. The latter is the pastor of the church where Elvira Arellano has sought "refuge" rather than abiding by a deportation order. Arellano and Lozano have together called for a "campaign of resistance" to prevent deportations of other illegal aliens.


Undated document from Pueblo Sin Fronteras

link: somosunpueblo.com/Unify_and_Focus.html


Emma Lozano, presidente Pueblo sin Fronteras

Elvira Arellano, presidente La Familia Latina Unida

March 25 Coalition flyer - 03/18/07

From march25coalition . org/organize

May 1st, 2007 we will be out in the streets, not shopping or selling, if possible not working; but Marching.

On February 3rd & 4th, 2007, a Conference hosted by the March 25th Coalition culminated in a call for a national day of actions for workers and Immigrant's Rights. The day, May 1st, 2007.

Coalition plans May Day actions (2007) - 03/18/07

"Coalition plans May Day actions"/[[February 8, 2007]]/Minnie Bruce Pratt and LeiLani Dowell/Workers World/ link

In an historic development in the U.S. immigrant rights struggle, a coalition of national organizations met in Los Angeles on Feb. 3-4 to plan and coordinate the "Great American Boycott II" for May 1.

Protesters seek amnesty for illegal immigrants; moratorium on deportations - 02/20/07

[[North County Times]]/[[North County Times wire services]]/[[September 2, 2006]]/ link

Reports on the September 2 Los Angeles march

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Los Angeles Saturday to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and a moratorium on deportations...

Mexican congressman discuss immigration with Pelosi Baca Gutierrez Solis - 02/05/07

El Universal/Andrea Merlos/[[February 5, 2007]]/ link/ translation

Original title: Diputados abordaran migracion con congresistas en Washington

Commie Fest 2006: Elvira Arellano, Major Owens, ACLU, and more! - 12/02/06

On December 3, the "19th Annual People's Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo Banquet" will be held in a Greek restaurant in Chicago:
[It] will feature living wage and peace resolutions sponsor city Alderman Freddrenna Lyle as the keynote speaker, and will honor immigrant rights activist Elvira Arellano, union activists Bea and Frank Lumpkin, disability rights group ADAPT, the March 10th immigrant rights coalition and AFSCME workers who are fighting to organize Resurrection Hospital — all familiar to PWW readers.
Note, of course, that only one of those is listed as an actual attendee; the honors may not be reciprocated, but we shall see.

In other Arellano news, she's been selected as one of the 15 Most Phenomenol Women by Latina Magazine. That rag is considered mainstream and features things like recipes. However, supporting illegal immigration and fraud are apparently part of their mandate.

Wait! There's more:
In New York City, Rep. Major Owens will be honored at the annual "Better World Awards" for his years of progressive struggle in Congress. Also being honored is Betty Smith, president of International Publishers and longtime fighter for peace and democracy. Elena Mora, chair of the N.Y. State Communist Party, will discuss the recent election results.

* In Oakland, the featured speaker will be Navy war resister Pablo Paredes. Joining him on the platform will be Kenneth Hayes, recent high school graduate and anti-youth-violence activist. Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the anti-nuclear-weapons organization Western States Legal Foundation; Lester Rodney, sports editor for the PWW's predecessor paper, The Daily Worker; the Blue Diamond Workers Organizing Committee; the Campaign against Unjust Immigration Laws; and the Coalition for Justice for Immigrants are all being honored.

* In New Haven, Conn., three progressive Connecticut leaders will be honored at an annual reception whose theme this year is "Carry the People's Election Victory Forward!" Merilee Milstein, former Northeast regional deputy director of the AFL-CIO; Roger Vann, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut; and the Rev. Emilio Hernandez, community organizer with Connecticut Center for a New Economy, will be recognized for their years of work for social justice.

* In Philadelphia, Libero Della Piana, national organizing director for the Communist Party USA, will be the featured speaker. Honorees include Dr. Walter Tsou, former president of the American Public Health Association.
Let's see which of those listed show up for their awards.

Boy in deportation flap heads to Mexico - 11/12/06

Associated Press/Sophia Tareen/[[November 12, 2006]]/ link

Reports that Saul Arellano - 7-year-old son of Elvira Arellano - is travelling to Mexico to ask the Mexican House and Senate to support her efforts to avoid being deported.

The Case of Elvira Arellano - 10/07/06

Lee Sustar/Socialist Worker (also in Counterpunch)//[[August 31, 2006]]/ link

...A given day (at the church where she's holed up) might see elected officials, diplomats from the Venezuelan consulate, journalists from the New York Times or European national radio services, or representatives of the Latino and left-wing press.

Immigrant rights group calls for boycott - 10/07/06

Evelyn Holmes/ABC7(WLS)/[[September 30, 2006]]/ link

A local group fighting for immigrant rights is calling for a boycott of two nationally known companies. Dunkin Donuts and Applebee's are accused of discriminating against immigrant workers whose names don't match their social security numbers.

Los Angeles Protest for Immigrant Rights - 09/28/06

[[Eastern Group Publications]]/[[Selene Rivera]]/[[September 14, 2006]]/link

Reports on the September 2 Los Angeles march:

..."The truth is that the immigrant community is been attacked and now more than ever we have to be together," said Maria Salinas of Hermandad Mexicana, one of the many coalitions that were part of the Labor Day weekend marches. Other organizations included Somos America (note: that may have been a reference to the We Are America Alliance instead), [[Proyecto Latino USA]] and the March 25 Coalition.

Note there was also a September 4 Los Angeles March which occured in Wilmington. Who exactly organized which march is not clear.

..."Immigrants made this country and many of us have had the opportunity to work and get citizenship or are born citizens. We have to give others the chance we were given," said 'white activist and American citizen Pamela Douglas during the Saturday march.

The march downtown Los Angeles also showed support for Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant who faces deportation, despite having a 7-year-old U.S.-born son. She has sought refuge in a Chicago church, in order to avoid being separated from her son.

More on the Chicago NAIR meeting from Workers World - 08/22/06

Around August 11, a few hundred illegal immigration supporters met near Chicago and created the "National Alliance for Immigrant Rights". One of their leaders is an official with Mexico's PRD party, and the article "Immigrant rights activists meet near Chicago" from Workers World has a little bit more on who's involved and what they want: workers.org/2006/us/immigrant-rights-0824

Of course, it's necessary to take what they write with a grain of salt because the article contains things that could have been written by chief reactionary George Bush himself:
Nineteen Minutemen vigilantes stood outside the conference at one point, their racist, pro-slavery Confederate flags flying, their anti-immigrant signs resting on their paunches.
Struggling bravely on, we're informed that:
Former Young Lord Vincente "Panama" Alba of New York's May 1 Coalition added that the immigrant communities were facing serious crises in food and housing, raids and arrests by police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Women's Caucus resolution, unanimously accepted, called for a defense of the rights of women as workers and mothers. Women face exploitation as domestic workers, and confront the cruelty of the international sex trade, rape and brutality from police and the Border Patrol.
But not, apparently, from coyotes.
After a short struggle, resolutions supporting the Gulf Coast evacuees and against the war in the Middle East were passed. The resolution presented by New York and Los Angeles activists on Katrina reads in part: to "support the right of return, right to housing, and the right to jobs for African American, immigrant, and poor white workers, the survivors of Katrina and Rita, in the Gulf Region."

A teacher from Los Angeles' March 25th Coalition said, "To immigrant students nothing is given, but they sacrifice everything in wars for a government who despises them."

Ignacio Meneses from Detroit said many immigrants in Michigan are people of Middle Eastern backgrounds, facing detentions and deportation every day. "Failure to oppose U.S./Israeli policies in the Middle East would be a betrayal of comrades in the struggle for immigrant rights."

Meneses continued, "Immigrants don't come to the U.S. looking for 'democracy.' They are looking to escape their economies, destroyed by U.S. commercial policies." The case of Elvira Arellano and her young son Saul epitomizes this.

Elvira Arellano was "driven to come to this country by the economic policies of the United States." Arellano said she is an activist with Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which organizes families with U.S. citizen children facing separation by deportation. She went seven times to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress, putting family unity at the center of the immigration debate. She mobilized a mass protest on July 5, 2005, in Chicago, a demonstration that drew 50,000 people. She helped form the Coalition for African Asian Arab European Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII).

ICE called her and ordered her to pack her bags and report for deportation.

She called on everyone at the conference to pick up their cell phones and lodge protests with Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama. They did.
And, I urge you to pick up your cell phone or email client and contact every reporter who gives NAIR the time of day.