Chicago Church that Gave Sanctuary to Elvira “Prays” on Whether or Not to Do It Again

LatinaLista — Chicago’s Adalberto United Methodist Church is back in the news.
Known for providing sanctuary to Mexican national Elvira Arellano, the church finds itself facing the same request by more members of their congregation.

Adalberto United Methodist Church was the sanctuary home for Elvira Arellano.
(Source: chicagoist.com)

It’s a decision that must be balanced between the Rule of Law and the Word of God, and it’s a decision that has church officials praying hard.


Emma Lozano, spokesperson for Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras and who also served as the legal guardian for Saul Arellano, Elvira’s son while Elvira was first deported to Mexico, tells Latina Lista that the church has been asked to provide sanctuary to several people who face deportation.
According to Lozano, the people, who have made the request of the church, are wanting to stay because they have built their lives here over the years and live more comfortably than if they were to return to Mexico.
Also, their families back home don’t just rely on the money sent to them but depend on it to survive.
Lozano cites the case of one 28-year-old woman who has been in the U.S. for 7 years and is undecided as to whether she should return to Mexico, where she left her three children with her elderly mother.
According to Lozano, the woman prefers to stay in the U.S. because she faces abject poverty if she returned. As of the last seven years, she has been able to provide her mother and three children with money to buy school books, clothes and the basic necessities.
If she returns, there are no job prospects for her and she fears her children will starve to death. If she stays, she will face another kind of hardship.
Lozano said that the woman is from a village located halfway between Mexico City and Oaxaca. Her family used to own a restaurant along a well-trafficked highway. But when NAFTA went into effect, the woman’s family, along with area farmers who provided produce to sell, lost everything when another highway was built to service the NAFTA traffic.
That little change in highway devastated the woman’s village, and the Mexican government did not help.
With no recourse open to her, she followed the road northward to work in a land she knew could provide ways to feed her children and her family members.
It’s the stories like this one that are the true facts of the immigration debate. Critics like using the numbers, and as was mentioned in yesterday’s post, will purposely misrepresent those numbers to encourage combative reaction but the numbers don’t show the reasons why the people are here.
In a press release, church officials stated:

“Those who have requested sanctuary say they want “to make America see” what “Free Trade” and the failure of the government to fix the broken immigration system is doing to millions of people.

After a weekend of praying about it, the Church will announce its decision Monday morning.
Either way, it’s a decision fueled by answering the question “What Would Jesus Do?”
I think we all know that answer.

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45 Comments

  1. Jax said:

    I get tired of these people who want to be here and not home in Mexico. Why don’t they go back and make an effort to change the Mexican government instead of this country’s?
    Please don’t give me this what would Jesus do? nonsense. we know what he would do. He would be welcoming them but he would also be caring for them! He would provide the funds required to handle this unwanted influx of people who openly flaunt our laws.
    Frankly, I’m getting tired of people who have no interest in assimilation. Most make no effort to learn English. In fact, I think all these bi-lingual signs should be taken down with the exception of airports, train stations and bus depots.

  2. miguel said:

    Jax posted:Most make no effort to learn English. In fact, I think all these bi-lingual signs should be taken down with the exception of airports, train stations and bus depots.
    Please leave the ones in Spanish in McDonalds. Before they figured out we had money, all I could order was a BigMac.

  3. Evelyn said:

    I know this is way off topic, but it’s just too good to let pass. I think it’s my duty as a law abiding patriotic American to let others know when one of the presidential candidate is cheating because he doesnt know anything about the issues!
    Mitt Romney was fed an answer at a live debate.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMtXBJWm3CA

  4. Frank said:

    miguel, hmmm I thought most Hispanic citizens and legal residences were bi-lingual English/Spanish. Who are these Spanish ads for?

  5. miguel said:

    Frank posted:miguel, hmmm I thought most Hispanic citizens and legal residences were bi-lingual English/Spanish. Who are these Spanish ads for?
    Frank, The signs are for people like me who are neither but know they can choose.

  6. Evelyn said:

    Jax
    I notice you made referance to Jesus.
    So what you are saying is that: Jesus let “them,” come here so that you could harass, and lie to demonize them. Then Jesus wants “them,” to be shown to airports, train stations, and bus depot’s and kicked out? Are you sure we’re talking about the same Jesus?

  7. Frank said:

    Why don’t the Asians get to choose or any other ethnic/racial group in this country? It is only Hispanics that get catered to in their native language.
    One doesn’t need to “choose” if they know English. English is our national language and immigrants/citizens need to assimilate to it when it comes to documents and ads.
    I am not a fool. The language issue is about mono-lingual Spanish speaking illegal aliens in this country. For that reason it disgusts me.

  8. laura said:

    Yes, I admire my undocumented friends’ energy and strength in studying English after a 12-hour day of body-breaking work.
    They know how important English is.
    I am also intrigued by the racists’ energy in demanding a lower level of intellectual capacity for all Americans: they want everyone to know only English.
    Where I am from we study two or three foreign languages to graduate from high school.

  9. miguel said:

    Frank responded:I am not a fool. The language issue is about mono-lingual Spanish speaking illegal aliens in this country. For that reason it disgusts me.
    I am not illegal and speak Spanish so that is a wrong assumption. Our “kind” learn English pretty quick. On the fool part, your postings show that Frank. Get off the bias horse and discuss real issues. Don’t let others speak for you. You have been around long enough to know we are not evil. The laws are and you are in a position to help in the teachings of Jesus.
    Disgust of us is a heavy cross to bear. Yes?

  10. Evelyn said:

    Deja me explicar como esta el asunto de los idiomas. La razón que se habla bastante el Español aquí en El Norte es porque estamos en tierras que fueron robadas, y la gente que estaba aquí hablaban Español.
    Aunque los gringos trataron de echar a todos los hispano-parlantes muchos se quedaron, como Miguel, el se sabe expresar en los dos idiomas.
    Y como también tiene el derecho de hacerlo. Nadie le puede quitar ese derecho. Así que vas a tener que respetar sus derechos si quieres seguir viviendo aquí. Si no, por que no te vas a vivir a un país donde hablan nada-mas un idioma.
    Estaríais mucho mas contento, sin hacer corajes todos los días. Piensa lo…. haber si te decides. Dicen que Inglaterra esta muy bonito. Podrías ver a la reina, visitar el palacio, y toda la gente hablan ingles.
    Bueno pues es todo lo que tengo que decir, o, y para esos que no saben Español lo bueno es que tienen una forma de traducir lo que estoy diciendo porque si no pensarían que estoy hablando mal de ustedes.

  11. miguel said:

    Frank posted:Why don’t the Asians get to choose or any other ethnic/racial group in this country? It is only Hispanics that get catered to in their native language.
    Language Frank is based on numbers also. The bigger the number, the bigger tha attention. ALL persons get equal attention on my language line when they call in for service. One Korean, one Russian, one of you if you call. It is a system of who has the most need.

  12. Evelyn said:

    Jax
    You say you are tired of people who want to be here and ask why they don’t “make an effort to fight for change of the Mexican Gov. instead of this countries.” I am going to try and answer.
    America has been built into a first world nation on the backs of developing countries like Mexico.
    It’s no wonder that people desperate to feed their families want to go where the wealth of their own lands have been taken.
    In 1968 the students of university in Mexico City protested against their Government seeking change, and soon the people of Mexico joined them These protests grew and grew as months went by and the leaders of the Mexican government were unable to stop them.
    The Government of Mexico was on the verge of collapse when the Mexican army began to surround the protesters. The soldiers came in new trucks and jeeps with rifles mounted on them. The soldiers wore new uniforms and new boots and were armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry of the day. These weapons were provided by the U.S. Gov. On October 2, 1968 the demonstrations ended in a storm of bullets in La Plaza de Las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico.
    When the shooting stopped , hundreds of people lay dead or wounded, as army and police forces seized thousands of surviving protesters and dragged them away.
    Still more shocking was the cover-up that kicked in as soon as the smoke cleared.
    Documents that relate this story have just been released a few yrs ago in response to a request to the Freedom of Information Act. All of them come from the secret archives of the CIA, FBI, Defense Department, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the White House.
    Mexicans have tried to make an effort to change their Government.
    It is not Mexican leadership they have to fight, it is the U.S. gov that bribes corrupt leaders in Mexico and keeps them in power that all of us should fight.
    The fight has to start here. The U.S. Government is responsible for the migration of people below the southern border. Until the people of the U.S. realize this and force their Government officials to act to change the circumstances they have created in those countries, their people will continue to come. The time has come for the U.S. government to get out of Mexico (NAFTA), and help the people of Mexico throw corrupt Mexican Government officials out.

  13. Jax said:

    Evely–Please note that I did not say that Jesus wanted anyone taken to the various modes of transportation heading back to Mexico. Please quote my statements accurately. I am the person who made that statement.

  14. Jax said:

    As usual, I find myself in agreement with Frank.
    I really dislike hearing adults speaking Spanidh to children. They should be learning English and parents are the best teachers.
    Many of these people speak Spanish to their children but English at the checkout counter. 100% use of English would benefit everyone.

  15. Jax said:

    Evylyn–Let’s quote me with precisely what I wrote.
    I said I would take the bi-lingual signs down and that Jesus would provide for the illegals.
    I also said that I’m getting tired of people who have no interest in assimilation.
    Let’s get things right when he quote other posters.

  16. laura said:

    Jax – the immigrants are study ing English because it is important. Because to know more is good. Because knowing English gives them more abilities and strengths.
    I am curious to know what you are studying to increase your abilities ?
    Or are you too incapacitated by your monolingual ignorance to want to study ?

  17. Jax said:

    Laura
    I minored in Spanish in both high school and college and, although I’m now a bit rusty in the language, I can “get by” using it. However, I see no need to speak it as Jacksonville, Florida is in the United States.

  18. Frank said:

    miguel, there sure are a lot of reading comprehension problems in here. I do my own thinking. Where in the world do you get the idea that I let others influence my thinking. My thinking is based on common sense and the rule of law.
    About the language issue, what I meant was that it disgusts me that business and govenrment are pandering to illegal alien Spanish speakers in their native language. I wasn’t talking about Hispanic citizens. Hispanic citizens know how to speak English. It is a requirement to become a citizen. It is a real issue to the majority of Americans becasue it is attached to the illegal alien issue. It costs us billions to print documents in several different languages. We need to make English our official language and that would stop all that nonsense. It would encourage legal immigrants to assimilate too.

  19. miguel said:

    Frank posted:miguel, there sure are a lot of reading comprehension problems in here. I do my own thinking. Where in the world do you get the idea that I let others influence my thinking. My thinking is based on common sense and the rule of law.
    Frank, if you are a free thinker then I might have you mixed in with Horace, Eyes Of Texas, Liguid, Jax, etc because this group says the same things and then anyone in the group responds with ‘we’ stand by ‘so and so’s” remark. After awhile any link back to any original thought is lost.
    As in the quoted post above, when is the rule of law AND common sense going to be injected into these threads?
    Again we are turning what Marisa expects to be conversation with ideas to resolve our mutual concerns and again we turn it into a pissing contest.

  20. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Yet, all the advocates for illegal aliens and illegal immigration all harp a common bunch of tripe over and over and over again trying to make excuses for breaking the immigration laws. Same song, second verse. Nothig can be said to make illegal acts magically legal.

  21. Texano78704 said:

    “As in the quoted post above, when is the rule of law AND common sense going to be injected into these threads?”
    Thank you, Miguel. I see many posts where personal opinions are stated as facts. And most of the time the anti-immigrant crowd engages in astroturfing.

  22. Frank said:

    laura, you mean just like most Mexicans living in Mexico are mono-lingual Spanish speakers? Don’t be a hypocrite here! If I were to learn another language it sure wouldn’t be the language of the illegal invaders in our country. Legal Hispanics living in this country know both English and Spanish and that is because they are living in an English speaking country. I would do likewise if I were to move to Mexico. But why the hell would I need to learn Spanish in MY OWN country? If I were to want to learn another language it would be some Asian language as their languages intrigue me. But I wouldn’t use it, so I would lose it anyway.

  23. laura said:

    Please forgive me for changing the subject – or perhaps returning to the original subject – What would Jesus do ? – Who would Jesus deport ?
    This is what Senator Hillary Clinton has to say (I copied and pasted this from the website “Benders Immigration Bulletin’) :
    Hillary Clinton: “no legal process” for criminal aliens
    “Immigrant-rights advocates and some Latino leaders are voicing concern at Senator Clinton’s campaign-trail rhetoric about swiftly deporting immigrants with a criminal past. A vow to give the boot to criminal aliens has become an almost daily part of the New York senator’s presidential campaign spiel on overhauling the immigration system. “Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone,” Mrs. Clinton told a town hall meeting in Anderson, S.C., Thursday.” New York Sun, Jan. 28, 2008.
    No legal process, candidate Clinton ?

  24. Maldonado said:

    No legal process, candidate Clinton ?
    I’m sure she means for those who have already been convicted. They’ve already had their due process. No need to retry the whole case all over again.
    “Pedro the dishwasher” exemplifies the type of immigrant this country needs.
    But a compa, is a compa, is a compa, is not so.
    Although a TINY minority, a few rotten compas do give the majority of hard working undoc migrants, a bad name.
    I used to be for letting everyone in. But I listened to many migrants themselves and some say that the criminals are making it harder for them.

  25. Frank said:

    miguel, just because I agree with some other posters in here or they agree with me, doesn’t mean we are influenced by each other. That is an odd thing to say. We come in here with the same views already that’s all. Are you saying that because you agree with some other’s views in here that you were influenced by them and didn’t come in here with your own views already?
    What pissing contest? As long as we debate civilley, I see no pissing contest. I do however see a lot of insults by you pro-illegals in here towards those of us who are for the rule of law. There is your pissing contest. Why don’t you stop that?

  26. miguel said:

    Frank posted:If I were to learn another language it sure wouldn’t be the language of the illegal invaders in our country.
    Frank, my ancestors did and we speak English today. We also speak Spanish as we did before that illegal invasion.

  27. Horace said:

    “So what you are saying is that: Jesus let “them,” come here so that you could harass, and lie to demonize them. Then Jesus wants “them,” to be shown to airports, train stations, and bus depot’s and kicked out? Are you sure we’re talking about the same Jesus?”
    Evelyn, Jesus knew a lot about the hypocrisy of mankind. I suspect that he’d recognize it in the way Mexicans make demands that they should harvest the fruit of their illegal entry into the U.S. while crucifying illegal immigrants who would venture into their homeland. And I’m sure Jesus would be impressed with the ineffectual Calderon regime and the social inequalities of the so-called democracy that is Mexico. Don’t preach to us about what Jesus would do until your precious Mexico reforms itself. You and the other advocacy groups are the true hypocrites. Mexicans have much to be shameful for.

  28. Publius said:

    Laura,
    I can just picture Hillary arguing for giving legal residency to criminal aliens. Are you people real? You’re having difficulties obtaining legal status for non-criminal illegal aliens and you think that proposing the same for convicted criminals will be received by the public with equanimity? LOL, LOL!!

  29. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Well, it’s happened again. There is another woman hold up in the church avoiding deportation orders. This church is now playing politics and therefore should have it’s tax exempt status removed immediately. If a person had commited a different type of crime and sought sanctuary in this church, do you think the authorities would enter the church and remove that person? You damn right they would and this woman should be treated no different than anyone else who is defying court orders and thumbing her nose at the laws of our nation.

  30. Frank said:

    miguel, your so-called “illegal invaders” of this country would include the Spaniards so what are you talking about? You speak both English and Spanish but not any native indian languages? Just because your native indian ancestors chose to give into the so-called “illegal invaders” by speaking their languages of English/Spanish and giving up their own, don’t expect that those of us today are going to do the same now that this country has been established as the USA, an English speaking country.

  31. Texano78704 said:

    “I suspect that he’d recognize it in the way Mexicans make demands that they should harvest the fruit of their illegal entry into the U.S. while crucifying illegal immigrants who would venture into their homeland. And I’m sure Jesus would be impressed with the ineffectual Calderon regime and the social inequalities of the so-called democracy that is Mexico.”
    Ah, I see you are still preaching that message of disinformation about Mexico. And perhaps there would not be an “ineffectual Calderon regime” if it were not for the interference by those pesky “norteamericano business interests.”

  32. Texano78704 said:

    “If a person had commited a different type of crime and sought sanctuary in this church, do you think the authorities would enter the church and remove that person?”
    A foreigner in this country without a proper visa is a a civil offense, not a criminal offense. At least that is what former DA, Rudy Guiliani, says.
    So to put that in perspective, what you are saying is that the police should go in a remove someone from a church that has an outstanding parking ticket as well.

  33. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Untie the hands of all law enforcement agencies and allow them to do what they have been trained to do and are paid to do, enforce the law. The current laws on immigration are federal laws and can no way be compared to parking tickets or jaywalking. Choosing to ignore her court ordered deportation will eventually result in exactly what she expects to happen. She will be deported and all this hoop-la will make no difference to anyone and will soon be forgotten. Remember, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

  34. laura said:

    I’m sure she means for those who have already been convicted. They’ve already had their due process. No need to retry the whole case all over again. – Maldonado
    Then why is this news ? Why is it up on the Immigration Law websites ?
    What if someone was wrongly convicted and wanted to appeal ?
    Most certainly I don’t favor criminals getting a free ride. I just favor basic protection of those who have few rights.
    I am very worried about the bad disappointment Hillary supporters are preparing – not just for themselves.
    She has said that if elected, she does not know when she would bring up immigration reform. Obama said he would bring it up his first year in office.
    I am not in love with Obama. I just see how power-hungry and opportunistic Senator Clinton is.

  35. Horace said:

    “A foreigner in this country without a proper visa is a a civil offense, not a criminal offense. At least that is what former DA, Rudy Guiliani, says.”
    This argument might have validity but for the fact that in order to work, an illegal immigrant must claim U.S. citizenship or legal residency and commit fraud by presenting false documets, both felonies. Just stepping across the border is a misdemeanor, but eventually an illegal alien will have to commit a crime to stay here. The nexus is similar to that of the drug user who can’t earn enough money by legitimate means to feed his habit, but must turn to crime to do so. Illegal immigration is inextricably connected to criminal activity, be it smuggling, document fraud, driving without a license, or falsely asserting to be a legal resident or citizen. Deceit is also a sin accoding to Catholicism.

  36. Frank said:

    It is still against the law to enter this country without papers. If it isn’t a big deal, then why are illegal aliens deported when discovered?

  37. Publius said:

    “So to put that in perspective, what you are saying is that the police should go in a remove someone from a church that has an outstanding parking ticket as well.”
    No, to put it in perspective, ICE should enter the church and execute the court order dictating removal from this country of an illegal immigrant being feloniously harbored. It is a felony to harbor an illegal alien, as this so-called church is doing.

  38. Maldonado said:

    Laura: “Then why is this news ? Why is it up on the Immigration Law websites ?
    What if someone was wrongly convicted and wanted to appeal ?”
    Probably because she needs the white male vote. Ultimately, they are still the ones who call the shots in this country. The pundits gripe about pandering to women, Hispanics and blacks but pandering to white males is still king.
    If someone were wrongly convicted of a crime and their case was under appeal then I would give Clinton the benefit of the doubt and assume that under her plan each case for legalization would be looked at individually and would stand on its own merits. In other words, hopefully the appeal would be taken into consideration when granting legal status.
    Also, I believe she meant convicted felons like rapists, murderers and “salvatrucha” (who have felony convictions) types. I don’t think anyone would worry about minor infractions or even misdemeanors.
    I am very worried about the bad disappointment Hillary supporters are preparing – not just for themselves.
    Ya, I know what you mean. People need action NOW. Not for people like us, but for those families that came after. They deserve humane results.
    Bottom line, I’d support a general amnesty for everyone.
    I too like Obama. But i think he’d get his butt kicked in Washington.
    I think Hillary would kick ass in Washington. Her camp knows how to create the win/win necessary to get things passed.
    I don’t think Obama is the “smoke filled room ” type. They’ll eat him alive.
    Still, I’d rather vote for Edwards. Heck, I vote for Carter II (lost re-election), Dukakis, Kerry and Gore. But this time I might vote for McCain. MIGHT.
    Remember Willie Brown up in Sacramento? He was there for AGES, kind of like Tip Oneil in Washington.
    My dad used to say about Willie Brown: “He’s an s.o.b. but he’s on our side.”
    That’s how I see Hillary Clinton.
    But her husband signed NAFTA and Operation Gatekeeper. Two things I cannot overlook. But that’s him, not her.
    -Daniel

  39. Frank said:

    Amnesty for everyone? Does that include those who have committed heionous crimes and are felons?

  40. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Of coarse, blanket amnesty would include all the scum that was released from Mexican prisons with orders to get out of Mexico. It would also be for all illegal aliens from known terrorist nations. Could you just imagine how thankful they would all be to have a pathway to American citizenship, to assimilate into every aspect of our culture and have the right to vote or even hold public office. What a frigging nightmare it would create and that is exactly why it will never happen.

  41. Evelyn said:

    When you talk about scum look in the mirror Also add Lying to that, yes lying scum. lie lie lie that all your parents taught you!

  42. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Here again I could provide several websites to support my statements as being factual and would once again receive the same old response from those on the other side of this issue. So, why bother. It must be a tremendous blow to your ego to have statements made here that you know are facts and your only recourse can be nothing more than childish name calling and insults instead of anything resembling an intelligent rebuttal.

  43. Daniel said:

    Feb 30.
    I was asked to take a look at Obama’s campaign.
    I’ve been an Obama supporter ever since.

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