Activist heads to L.A. rally

Antonio Olivo/Chicago Tribune/[[August 17, 2007]]/ link

Elvira Arellano has slipped out of the Chicago church where she avoided deportation for a year and is apparently headed toward Los Angeles, where an immigration march is being planned for Saturday, a West Coast march organizer said.

...she announced she would leave the church, with the intention of going to Washington, D.C., to participate in a Sept. 12 prayer and fast vigil on the National Mall.

If all goes according to plan, she will be joined in Los Angeles by her son, Saul, 8, a U.S. citizen, who flew ahead with a family friend, said Javier Rodriguez, whose March 25 Coalition is coordinating the planned march through downtown Los Angeles.

...In leaving her church and adopting the role of just another activist speaking at the podium, Arellano loses some of her symbolic resonance, particularly if she gets arrested on some lonely road and never makes it to Washington, said Jorge Mujica, one of the lead organizers of several massive immigration marches that have occurred in Chicago. Mujica said he expects Arellano and her supporters could find themselves isolated from the wider immigration rights movement.

"They are going to enjoy by themselves the victory or the defeat of this," Mujica said.