This story is of particular interest to me for a variety of reasons; one, I am a mother, two, my husband is the pastor of a church, and three, for years I have lived fairly close to the US/Mexico border and the immigration issue is of great concern to me.
LOS ANGELES — An immigration activist who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year to avoid being separated from her son has been deported to Mexico, the church’s pastor said.
Elvira Arellano was arrested Sunday afternoon outside Our Lady Queen of Angels church in Los Angeles. She was deported several hours later, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where Arellano had taken refuge.
“She has been deported. She is free and in Tijuana,” said Coleman, who said he spoke to her on the phone. “She is in good spirits. She is ready to continue the struggle against the separation of families from the other side of the border.”
From Fox News
The entire story is here.
Have you been to Tijuana, a city exceeding one million persons, lying just south of San Diego, Ca? Have you been to any third-world country? Have you sensed the poverty, sniffed its peculiar scent, heard the low murmur of its people, observed the haunting faces, bent low to eye street beggars, or brushed against their outstretched hands? Have you felt a tug at your skirt and looked into the smudged face of a pleading child barely of weaning age? Have you startled when the smooth American highway gives way to rough gravel or to the jolt of deep potholes in the ragged asphalt? Have you observed the skyline of San Diego as it resolves into shabby hillsides ticked with cardboard shanties?
(Photo removed at John Crosley’s request)
Tijuana Poverty Trap — Trap of Death
by John Crosley
I have. And I have wept.
My commitment to truth wrenches from me the admission that were I a mother of small children and we lived in Tijuana, I would consider the use of any available means to insure that my children crossed that border and that they became citizens of the United States. Don’t press me. Would my conscience and godly striving convince me that I must not break the law, and thereby circumvent my illegally crossing the border? Could I beat into myself the idea that I must obey American (and Mexican?) laws, or would I press and maneuver and strive in hope of grasping a self-serving loophole? Could I at one understand the decadent and ignoble government which ruled me, while having heard whisper of America and having glimpsed its people and its glory, and yet stare into the face of my children and be at peace and reconciled to our fate? Or would I have the brilliant courage and strength to fight where I was, to infuse my children with enthusiasm and grit so that they, in their native surroundings, could break the chains of poverty and ignorance? Honestly, I don’t know.
I feel deeply for this mother. But, she has broken our laws, and her deportation should stand. (Hey! I hear you shouting. Should you not then be deported had you been the Tijuana mother of your thoughts? Yes. Absolutely.) While admittedly one of compassion, the United States of America is an independent and sovereign nation, and it is not within the liberties of other governments to direct our laws, our thoughts, our customs. While a sanctuary for millions, we cannot be a sanctuary for all.
No church should be an asylum for one who is a blatant law-breaker. Such a person is Elvira. On August 15, 2006, she defied a deportation order to report to the Department of Homeland Security. Instead she sought refuge in the Adalberto United Methodist church in Chicago, knowing full well that a judge had issued her original deportation order in 1997. Elvira knew exactly what she was doing. More than once she had entered this country illegally and had obtained a false social security number. Yes, she should have been arrested yesterday, and yes, she should have been deported.
Telling, is that although she uses the horror of dividing families as a base for her protestation of our immigration laws, she, herself, left behind her nine-year-old son when she went from the country yesterday. True, he is an American citizen, but as far as I know, such a position does not preclude his going to Mexico with his mother. She kissed him good-bye and left.
My devotional blog is here.