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.
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.