Churches have been providing sanctuary for illegal immigrants who want to stay in the United States to be with their US born children. Immigration sweeps have mounted since congressional measures to legalize the country’s undocumented immigrants were defeated this summer. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who became a symbol in the nation’s immigration wars after she took sanctuary in a Chicago church last year, was arrested Sunday by federal immigration agents outside Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles.
Arellano, 32, a single mother, moved into a Chicago church a year ago to prevent being separated from her 8-year-old U.S.-born son.
She was arrested Sunday afternoon as she was leaving the downtown Los Angeles church also known as La Placita with her son and a supporter.
Supporters said the car in which Arellano was riding was surrounded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who took her into custody.
The agency did not say where she was being held but did confirm that Arellano would be deported to Mexico.
For immigrant-rights groups she had become the human face of stepped-up enforcement efforts that frequently separate immigrant mothers and fathers from their American-born children.
Arellano came to Los Angeles on Friday to speak at four area churches over the weekend. She was pressing for immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million people in the U.S. illegally.
In Jackon Hole, Wyoming, near me, even legal immigrants fear visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks because of the hassle of being detained or arrested if they do not have enough i.d. with them. Latinos are especially targeted although there are many from Eastern Europe also working in the area. The resorts could not exist without labor from Mexico and other countries.
Click here for the Presiding Bishop’s letter on immigration reform.
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