Elvira Arellano : Illegal, Alien, Activist?

elvira.jpgBy now you should know that 31 year old single Mexican mami Elvira Arellano has been inside Aldalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago with her 7 year old son for three days now. She is not keeping her promise to a santo. she is keeping her promise to her child that she will stay with him and be a mami and confronting the U.S. government that seeks to deport her. Her son Saul was born in the United States and because of that is a U.S. citizen. Earlier this week Elvira was ordered to appear at an immigration office but instead she invoked an old school idea, taken by many activists before her, that churches are sanctuaries and went inside with her child. Elvira knows what’s up. She’s the President of United Latino Family, which lobbies for families that could be split by deportation. She is now one of those families.


The Feds have said that Elvira being inside a church doesn’t really protect her and that they could go inside the church at any time to enforce their deportation order. We will all have to wait and see if they will dare. In the meantime however, it is interesting to analyze the different ways the media is covering the going ons, especially the English language media. Many have chosen to use the adjective “illegal” to modify Elvira. The Washington Times goes so far as to call Elvira an “Illegal Alien” in it’s headline. Two news outlets, KVOA News 4 out of Arizona and the Chicago Sun-Times, focus not on Elvira the woman but on her actions, calling her an “activist”. Spanish language media chooses to call her undocumented, label her by her nationality, or her maternal status (no doubt invoking a linkage between her and the ultimate mujer to many Latinos – la Virgincita herself).

Regardless of what adjective is used to label Elvira Arellano, all eyes should be on Chicago and those that are in the Chicago area should say presente to bear witness to what’s going down and what will come.

Via / SignOnSanDiego.com
Image Via / BBC Mundo

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71 comments on “Elvira Arellano : Illegal, Alien, Activist?
  1. Elvira Arellano is an ILLEGAL immigrant. Her son was born in the US while she was an ILLEGAL immigrant. She chose to be in the US illegally when she gave birth. She chose to ILLEGALLY use someone else’s Social Security number so she could work in the US ILLEGALLY. Elvira Arellano created this mess, not the US.

  2. damn cant believe this country built of hard working illegal immigrants can be so damn ignorant and yes i do stand and compare rosa parks to elvira because she did what many of us would of might not had the balls to do. At least Elvira had the balls to stand up and try to change whats going on and yea this country might think that they can silence her voice by deporting her huh but guess what buddies yup again ignorants IT WON’T NOW MANY MORE WILL SPEAK UP AND STAND UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS wait lets see back in history the real people who can actually say “Get out of our country!” “Let me see your visa or working permit” would be the native americans who were murdered and women raped because of the selfishness or IGNORANCE of ummm let me see you people who now want to deport any other immigrants get educated and dont be an ignorant

  3. ke la fusilen….ni deportacion…..ni libertad….al paredon los dos….no queremos mas chicanos en tierras de dios…..las tierras de dios son para superdotados….como yo….!

  4. This woman is no saint or Rosa Parks or anyone to be admired in my book. She continually broke the law and illegally entered the country even after being deported.

    Then she had the unmitigated gall to use someone else’s social security number just so she could work here illegally. Then she pops out a kid so she can have some claim to staying here. She’s a criminal who knows how to look like an innocent lamb.

    For the record, I’m of mixed race and from immigrants who came here LEGALLY. By the way, please tell us what Mexico does with illegal aliens who cross the country and dare to linger instead of going on to the US?

    We don’t want criminals like this woman here. If you want to live here, do it the right way. She blew it and she can rot in Mexico for all I care.

  5. she is a convicted felon, and should be denied citizenship. Immigration offered her the opportunity to take her son with her, and she left him with the church. She should have no rights in this country because she is a repeated offender, and obtained employment illegally. This has nothing to do with her nationality, and comments that compare her to Rosa Parks are racist in nature, as they belittle Ms. Parks and the entire African American race.

  6. I am very sad for Ms. Arellano’s son Saul. It is unforunate that his mother cared so little for him that she has chosen to abandon him in the U.S. rather than take him to her own country. This is a woman who has broken U.S. border laws twice. The first time she was deported then she defied the U.S. again and returned and chose to have a baby here in hopes that we would not deport her because her baby is a U.S citizen. Then when ordered to leave again she thumbs her nose at America. To avoid this in the future the goverment needs to form a law stating that a child holds the same citizenship as the parent. And as for Ms. Arellano’s comments on our “broken laws”. The law is not broken. The illegals are breaking the law. The u.s needs to enfore our existing laws. My ancestors waited in line why shouldn’t they?

  7. Both my husband and I are naturalized citizens. We went through a lot of red tape to become citizens.
    My husband speaks 2 languages , I speak 5. Our children speak 3. I worked with many Mexicans and
    I know for a fact many DO NOT CARE TO LEARN ENGLISH!! furthermore I was shocked beyond words when 2 different 3rd generation Mexican Americans told me they do not feel they are Americans, they feel like they are Mexican. Why are we taxpayers pay and pay to support all the illegal aliens’ 9 to 10 children.Due to proximity to USA, many Mexicans do not feel any allegiance to the country that feeds them. In many countries in Europe the children of illegal aliens are NOT CITIZENS.IN MEXICO they are not citizens either. Citizens of the good old USA, stand up for your rights, DEFEND YOUR COUNTRY FROM INVASION.VOTE OUT all the unpatriotic people who want to shove radical views down our throat.If we vote correctly,there is talk that we might someday have what Europe has CHANGE THE LAW SO THAT CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE ILLEGAL ALIENS!!
    I love the Spanish language , I went to a lot of trouble to learn the language because I was tired of hearing Spanish everywhere and not knowing what was said around me. Many of my colleagues resent that they cannot communicate with their patients and when making a phone call, sometimes we must listen to Spanish 1st and press #2( we are no longer option 1 in many businesses.We vacation in Mexico all the time, our daughters were engaged to Mexican Americans.
    So as long as any immigrant is legal, I have no problem with that.
    Elvira is an arrogant woman, she has the audacity to defy and provoke the authorities so we finally got rid of her. It’s about time we develop some backbone.

  8. Framing the immigration debate in terms of the Civil Rights Movement is an ineffective strategy. This issue is broader in scope than that language allows.

    The issue here is GLOBALISM and FREE TRADE (NAFTA). But nobody talks about it in those terms.

    On TV, celebrities decry free trade’s effects on countries around the world. I saw Chris Martin of Coldplay on Charlie Rose saying that free trade agreements were putting Haitian farmers out of business. Charlie Rose said it was awful.

    Well, that’s exactly what is happening in Mexico, in our own backyard. Millions of farmers can no longer support themselves because NAFTA has flooded the market with cheap (and inferior) agricultural goods. And THAT is what causes them to immigrate.

    But nobody seems to make the connection between our own economic policies and the massive, unprecedented levels of immigration from Mexico and other parts of Latin America, except to cast Mexican immigrants as “cheap labor.” In other words to dehumanize them.

    The immigrant activists themselves seem to think the only solution is to let all of Mexico move to the US, but that’s not a realistic solution.

    Pressure needs to be put on our own government and the Mexican government to create a way for Mexicans to support themselves in ther own country. Nobody ever discusses NAFTA or the pending free trade agreements with the rest of Latin America.

    The debate needs to be taken to a higher level. So far, it’s just immigrants saying they have a right to be here because they are poor and anti-immigration activists saying go home, it’s not our problem if you’re poor. A “debate” like that appeals to the lowest common denominator and doesn’t solve anything.

    Nobody seems to think it’s a tragedy if Mexicans are living in poverty or dying in droves along the border. The sentiment is just “that’s the way they are.”

    The media tells us that poverty needs to be eradicated in other parts of the world, and tells us that we need to “save” these people, but for some reason we’re supposed to ignore the poverty in our own country and on our own continent. Charity begins at HOME.

    Americans of Mexican descent need to stop distancing themselves from Mexican immigrants and start using their voting power to demand changes in NAFTA and other free trade agreements in the hemishpere.

  9. To avoid this in the future the goverment needs to form a law stating that a child holds the same citizenship as the parent.
    ____________________________

    This is an incredibly uneducated comment. We do not inherit the legal status of our parents. Do you have any idea why people fought and died in the American Revolution? We don’t believe in inherited titles, or in inheriting the legal stautus of our parents. Americans are born with a fresh slate, not legal baggage they had nothing to do with. THAT is what makes our country great.

    If you want a free, first world society, you do not restrict freedom. You expand it.

    Get a clue lady. This issue is much bigger than a woman who came here illegally to clean planes. You’re an idiot. There is nothing I hate more than Hispanics who dump on illegal immigrants just to distance themselves and gain favor with white people. If you want to change the way Hispancis are perceived, then you have to RAISE UP everyone, not bash those who are poor and without economic power or civil rights. Ms. Martinez, you are not only ignorant of our legal heritage, but an embarassment to yourself.

    If they strip American citizenship from one group of people they will find ways to strip it from other Americans too.

  10. This has nothing to do with her nationality, and comments that compare her to Rosa Parks are racist in nature, as they belittle Ms. Parks and the entire African American race.
    _____________________________

    They are not racist and they don’t belittle anyone. I do not favor those comparisons, though, only because they do not do justice to the scope of the immigration issue. This issue is much more broad. It’s global and they need to place it in that context.

    But just so you know, Parks was also breaking the law when she refused to give up her seat on the bus. The blacks who sat at white only lunch counters were also breaking the law, as were those who tried to vote when they couldn’t pay the poll tax or pass the written test required at the time. The blacks who had sex with non-blacks were also breaking the laws of the time.

    How do you think the Civil Rights Movement began? With people breaking laws they believed were racist. A lawbreaker isn’t any less of a lawbreaker if he is an American citizen.

    Nobody from the Civil Rights Movement is morally superior to Elvira Arellano.

  11. I truly do not feel bad for Elvira. She was in this country TWICE ILLEGALLY. How can she expect sympathy when she broke the laws of this Country.
    On the other hand, I do feel bad for her son that He will be here without his Mother.

  12. Well, she was deported in 1997 but came back a few days later. She learned that if she has a child, she would receive sympathy support for being an illegal alien.

  13. I have read all of the comments on this page, and the person who disturbs me the most is Joanna. Where the hell do you get off rampaging about hard working “illegal immigrants”!? That in and of itself is ignorant, because if they’re illegal they shouldnt be working! If they are working, they are breaking one or more laws besides the one they broke when they came here ILLEGALLY! Nobody asked them to come here and work hard, they could have done that in Mexico. You Miss are a complete dumbass, and you should really think before you make your opinions visible to sensible, law abiding citizens of the United States. I personally think that when people cross into our country illegally they should be jailed, and made to serve whatever time they are given in selected areas of the state harvesting produce. Once their time is served they should be deported, and prohibited from ever entering the U.S. again. All we’d pay for is 3 hots and a cot. I cant wait for other illegal immigrants to rise up like Elvira did. Because God willing, they’ll all be rounded up and deported just like she was. EXCELLENT JOB ICE!!!

  14. have a nice trip elvira. im so sorry mexico is a dump and ran by thugs. if you would put half the effort in mexico as you did here maby it would be a place you would want to live.
    P.S.next time try comming through the front door.

  15. Nice English, Joe! Looks like wherever you went to school was a dump as well, judging from your third-world writing skills.

  16. My Fellow Americans, Wake Up and Smell the La Raza and Azteca movement taking over and exploiting our LAWS! One Day those movement will have a suicidal FALL from this country! I hope these LIBERal Latino Politians are Watching!

  17. I believe she should be returned to Mexico, her Son is a US citizen. He should be returned to his mother in Mexico and when he becomes 18 he may return to the US. One thing that those in favor forget is that it is FRAUD using a Social Security Number and identity that is not yours. If you or I would have done this we would surely be in Jail.

  18. Clever misuse of the word immigrant as if legal immigration is the same thing as illegal immigration, is obviously nothing but a code used by the Open Border/anarchist and primarily Anti-USA Left. The truth is every country in the world must have secure borders and most countries severely restrict both legal & illegal immigration in order to provide security and protect their CITIZENS.
    Imagine a World with completely open borders.
    IMO this WORLD would be total lawlessness, no private property, rule by tyranny and similar to the world of medival times. That is what a world without a strong & secure USA will become. Imagine a post USA world, it would make the current tyranny & squalor of countries such as Mexico, Venezula, Cuba, Iran, Syria, etc., etc, actualy look inviting. Stop and ask yourself why the above countries don’t seem to have a swarm of people trying to get across their borders, matter of fact they evidently must export their own citizens because they have a failed government, based on a failed ideological system…as long as the USA allows these countries to export their citizens nothing will change within. Illegal immigration must cease, these illegals must go HOME to find their American Dream and all we owe any of them is Good Luck, now go!!!!

  19. I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT ALL OF YOU’S ARE HEARTLESS. I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY OF YOU’S FEEL THAT WAY. I COULD JUST IMAGINE HOW YOUR FAMILY BROUGHT YOU’S UP. I CAN TELL THE LOVE YOU’S WHILE GROWING UP. MEXICO IS A VERY POOR COUNTRY HARDLY ANYONE CAN SURVIVE THERE. LET SAY THE US GETS ATTACKED AGAIN AND EVERYTHING IS RUINED AND THE GOVERMENT AND EVERYTHING IS LEFT IN POVERTY.. WERE WOULD WE GO WHAT WILL HAPPEN HOW WILL WE SURVIVE? IT’S NOT FAIR THAT US AMERICANS CAN GO INTO MEXICO AND ALL THESE OTHER COUNTRIES WITH NO PROBLEM HOWEVER THEY CANT COME HERE THATS SUCKS.. ALL OF YOU’S ARE GOING TO PAY ONE DAY FOR FEELING THAT WAY AND BEING SO COLD HEARTED.. AND I HOPE ALL OF YOU’S WILL BURN IN HELL

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