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November 23, 2006

Mom just waits as immigration mood swings

Here is an that gives you time for reflection on Thanksgiving Day;

Article by Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, published November 21, 2006;

“Who'd have thought, back in the summer when TV trucks were bumper to bumper on West Division Street waiting for all hell to break loose at any moment, that Thanksgiving week would come and Elvira Arellano would still be holed up in a storefront church defying a deportation order?

Not me. I predicted an imminent moment of drama to rival the seizure of little Elian Gonzalez six years ago in Miami--drawn guns, gas masks, shouts, screams, tears. The full CNN.

Not Walter "Slim" Coleman, the pastor of the Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church, which since Aug. 15 has been harboring Arellano, 31, and her 7-year-old son, Saul, who was born in this country and so is a U.S. citizen.

"I was sure that [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers] were going to come after her in the first five or six days," Coleman said.

Not Carlina Tapia-Ruano, Chicago-based president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Immigration enforcement officials "had been heavily criticized all year, all over the country, for failing to enforce our laws and contributing to the large number of undocumented residents," Tapia-Ruano said. "And here they had a clear case of a woman daring them to come and get her."

Even Sun-Times contrarian Neil Steinberg, who challenged my forecast in print and predicted the feds would wait up to two months before acting, bet that the church would deliver Arellano to authorities "before the leaves change."

The clearest crystal ball belonged to those on the other side of the immigration issue from Coleman, Tapia-Ruano and others who believe we should clear a path to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding workers who are in this country illegally.

David Gorak, executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reform Immigration, said he was very skeptical when an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman promised that the agency was going to "take action at the time and place of our choosing."

Gorak said, "They knew it would have been like throwing gasoline onto a fire if they went after her. She's wasn't going anywhere, and they had more serious cases to deal with."

"This administration is weak, it lacks resolve," said Rick Biesada, co-founder of the Chicago Minuteman Project. His organization is dedicated to border enforcement, and he said he is disappointed but not at all surprised that Arellano remains an untouched cause celebre. "It probably came down to a political decision," he said.

On that, the opposing sides are in agreement…”


Posted by VisaLawyer at November 23, 2006 06:31 AM


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