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August 24, 2007

Mother's immigration cause continues in Mexico after deportation

By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer, August 21, 2007, TIJUANA, Mexico (AP)

For the past year, Elvira Arellano has promoted an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws from inside a Chicago church, where the illegal immigrant sought refuge to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son.

Now, after being deported Sunday by U.S. immigration officials, she is trying to stir sympathy from within her native Mexico.

She huddled less than 24 hours later with about a dozen activists to plan her next steps in Tijuana, just across the border from San Diego and only about 100 miles from where she says she entered the United States illegally in 1997. Her plans included a talk-radio show appearance Tuesday, a news conference at City Hall on Thursday and a rally Sept. 12.

"I have a fighting spirit, and I'm going to continue to fight," Arellano, 32, said outside the second-floor apartment where she is living with a friend. Her 8-year-old son Saul will stay in Chicago with his godmother.

Arellano's supporters liken her to Rosa Parks, who sparked the civil rights movement, and Dolores Huerta, who co-founded United Farm Workers of America. Outsiders say that's a stretch and note that she cannot yet stake claim to any change in U.S. policy.

While some Americans sympathize with Arellano, who held low-wage jobs as a single mother, others consider her a trespasser.

Peter Nunez, a former federal prosecutor who teaches immigration policy at University of San Diego, called Arellano's campaign a media-driven effort that overlooks that she came to the United States illegally and chose to have a child.

"She and her sympathizers expect America to absolve her of her misconduct because she had a kid," he said. "Fine, take your kid back with you. That's what mothers do."...".

at; http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/08/21/state/n153234D17.DTL&type=politics

Posted by VisaLawyer at August 24, 2007 09:08 AM

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