LatinaLista — Tomorrow, May 1, is the anniversary of the massive immigration marches that have taken place over the last couple of years. While not even the Latino community is exactly sure how many will turn up yet again to walk in support of undocumented immigrants, it seems the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not taking any chances.
Latina Lista has received word that officials of the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, which gave sanctuary to Elvira Arellano and now houses another undocumented immigrant, 27-year-old Flor Crisostomo, are bracing for the arrival of representatives from the US Marshall’s office.
Rev. Walter Coleman of the Adalberto United Methodist Church told Latina Lista that he and his colleagues received word over the weekend from a credible government source that DHS had handed the case over to the U.S. Marshall’s office so they can obtain and execute a warrant for Crisostomo’s arrest.
Rev. Coleman says that this move by DHS is predictable as it seems to follow a pattern in which on the eve of a large mobilization like the May 1 marches, DHS makes a high-profile arrest. Unsure if DHS is trying to intimidate or reinforce their authority, Rev. Coleman says he and his colleagues intend to “stand firm” against whatever the government has in mind to do.
Rev. Coleman, along with members of the Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras, plan to hold a noon time press conference today to answer questions about the DHS action.
As a special favor to Latina Lista, Rev. Coleman has released the following statement which will be read at the noon press conference:
We have called this press conference because we have been informed through what we believe to be reliable sources that Homeland Security has or is preparing to turn over the case of Flor Crisostomos to the U.S. Marshals. This, we have been informed, is being done so that the U.S. Marshals can get a warrant to enter this church and arrest her.
This action by Homeland Security, on the eve of May 1st marches across the country follows the pattern they have adopted for the last three years. It is an effort to intimidate the community. It is also an effort, we have been informed, to stop the spread of the sanctuary movement that has gained support in churches throughout the nation.
We stand with Flor. She has taken sanctuary to make America see that 12 million people will not self-deport and that the terrorizing of families and children and whole communities is senseless and inhuman.
Flor has taken her stand to make America see that 12 million will not self-deport because they must feed their children â€“ here and in the countries that this nation has devastated with its policies of so called free trade.
We call on the President of the United States, in his last few months in office to recognize the will of the great majority of the people and call a moratorium on the raids, deportations and separation of families. We call on him to respect the sanctity of the church and the non-violent witness of civil disobedience against an unjust and broken law.
We call on people to join us tomorrow at Union Park at 12 noon and march with us to Federal Plaza at 1:30 in a â€œMarch of Courageâ€, a march to make this government in Washington recognize the will of the new peoples majority in this nation.