Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mexican mother organizes in Sanctuary

Mexican mother organizes from inside Chicago church
By Andrew Stern Fri Dec 22, 7:37 AM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - With Christmas fast approaching, Elvira Arellano dispatched her 8-year-old son to Washington to plead her case and that of other immigrant families who fear being torn apart by deportation.

The Mexican-born Arellano, 31, cannot go herself because she has been fighting a deportation order since August from inside a Chicago church where she has imprisoned herself, invoking the ancient medieval protection of sanctuary.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, there are 2 million families in the United States with mixed status, meaning some members are undocumented. The families have nearly 4 million children, most of whom are U.S.-born. The U.S.-born children must wait until they turn 21 before petitioning to have their immigrant parents join them legally in the United States.

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