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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Unlike the U.S. Government, Elvira Has a Strategy About Forcing the Immigration Issue

Unlike the U.S. Government, Elvira Has a Strategy About Forcing the Immigration Issue

LatinaLista — It never ceases to amaze us the level of incompetence that exists in the higher echelons of the U.S. government when it comes to long-range planning.
We only have to look at two examples: the Iraq war strategy (or lack thereof) and the passport fiasco to know that some very short-sighted people are in charge of calling the shots.
Those same people must have been in charge when they ordered the deportation of Elvira Arellano, the undocumented Mexican mother who put up a year-long fight and preferred life confined to a Chicago church rather than be separated from her U.S.-born son.
The people-in-charge must have thought that once Elvira was safely on the other side of the border she would be quiet and there would be no more in-your-face tactics on behalf of the undocumented immigrant community.

Boy, were they wrong. They played right into Elvira’s hands, and if she gets her wish, she may very well have the last laugh.


Since Elvira was spirited away before dawn by ICE officials on August 20 to Tijuana, Mexico, there has been speculation on Latina Lista that Elvira may have planned her own capture. We may have our answer.
Since she’s been back in Mexico, Elvira has done everything but lay low.
In fact, when looking at what she is accomplishing while on the other side of the border, it’s obvious that a lot planning and thought has gone into it – unlike some people we know.

Elvira interviewed by anchor for Primero Noticias.
Elvira’s been making the rounds of Mexican news shows like a politician running for office — though for the moment, she’s saying that the closest she wants to come to politics is to get a Presidential appointment.
And not just any appointment. She has asked Mexican President Felipe Calderon to grant her a special diplomatic visa to act as an ambassador of peace and justice for Mexico so she may re-enter the United States and continue with her fight for all the families whose children will be separated from their foreign-born parents waiting deportation.
It is said that Calderon has instructed his Secretary of Exterior Relations, Patricia Espinosa, to explore how to make Elvira’s request a reality.
In the meantime, it’s being reported that Saul, Elvira’s son, will join her in Mexico this Friday.
Surely, there will be pressure from Washington on Calderon not to grant Arellano her request but it would be politically foolish on the homefront if he didn’t.
Elvira has been quoted in the local Mexican press as saying:

I am not only here for myself but for the millions of undocumented Mexicans who need the support of our government.

Ay chiwawa!
That statement is political dynamite and if Calderon ignores it, what blows up may not be easy to put back together.
Yet, how can US officials stand by and watch someone they’ve declared an enemy of the state come back into the country without doing anything?
Not to mention that all of Latin America will be watching the US to see how far we will go to enforce the law versus respecting the diplomatic rights of our southern neighbor.
It’s a curious predicament and one that will require careful thought on how to handle — if only we weren’t lacking in that department.
As Latina Lista noted in an earlier post, signs that Elvira is being elevated into a folk hero for her stand on this issue was the creation of a song of her. Well, the corridos have begun in Mexico.
The following is just one:

“Corrido de Elvira Arellano”
Agosto 97 saliste de Michoacán, culpa del libre comercio, no había donde trabajar.
El pobre se hizo más pobre, no hubo de otra que emigrar. Washington fue tu destino.
Ahí la vida te premiaba, fue donde nació tu niño Saúl Arellano se llama.
Despues te fuiste a Chicago donde tu suerte cambiaba
Fue el lunes 10 de diciembre no se te puede olvidar, víctima de una redada, nadie lo puede negar.
No cometiste un delito, solamente trabajar, tenías que luchar por tu hijo y eso te hizo criminal.
Tocaron fuerte a tu puerta, tú los dejaste pasar, preguntaron por las armas, no sabías qué contestar.
Te querían quitar a tu hijo por que tú eres ilegal.
Por el amor a su niño y sin pensarlo dos veces, ella decidió quedarse viendo por los intereses de su pequeño Saulito, pues él no se lo merece.
Hace un año que se abrieron las puertas de este lugar, una iglesia metodista que ha decidido luchar por Elvira y por su hijo pues los quieren separar
El gobierno americano hoy los quiere encarcelar, al … pastor y a Arellano, 15 años les quieren dar.
Al pastor por protegerla y a Elvira por ilegal.

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Comment(12)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 29, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Elvira, didn’t hole up in a church for a year to avoid seperation from her son. She could have gone back to Mexico with her son. How convenient to forget that when she was given that choice at her deportation hearing she left him here. The hypocricy of it all.
    She’ll never get the last laugh at least not her own laugh. She is going to be an ambassador for Mexico? You mean that country she disliked so much that she moved to our country illegally?

  • Avatar
    Antonio Gonzalez
    August 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    That is show only, nobody can
    believe Calderon is something
    for the americans, he is only
    a puppet and nothing more.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    August 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I find it truly tragic, Marisa, that you and the illegal alien advocates really believe that this will garner support. On the contrary, the vast majority of Americans see Alviria as a convicted felon opportunist who is exploiting the volutary abandonment of her son for her own gains. I suspect that your belief is influenced by your cloistered association with a small exclusive circle of mutually supportive liberal friends. Get real. Just as the marches did nothing more than antagonize the persons they intended to garner support from, Alvira will harden the anti-illegal immigration positions that most Americans hold.

  • Avatar
    Philip
    August 30, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Elvira’s struggle is a mixed blessing. While drawing attention to the current immigration situation it also is a rallying point for anti-immigartion advocates.
    http://www.ptlia.com
    Immigrant Help Center

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 30, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Nobody is “anti-immigrant” but myself and the majority of Americans are definately “anti-illegal alien”.

  • Avatar
    George
    August 30, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    If that’s a strategy, it’s one of the most illogical I’ve ever encountered. They’ve tried boycotts and marches and waited for the rest of America to join them, but all for naught, as their agendas of amnesty and open borders are unacceptable to the citizen.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    August 30, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Nobody is “anti-immigrant” but myself and the majority of Americans are definately “anti-illegal alien”.
    Again, not as simple as you’re making it out to be. Here’s a collection of recent major polls on immigration. The data is mixed. Here are some examples to rebut your position that a majority of Americans are “anti-illegal alien.” (Setting aside for now the concern of the loaded language you’re using, and that most of these polls also use.)
    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. June 22-24:
    30% opposed the proposed Senate bill because it went too far towards helping illegal immigrants, 45% supported the bill or opposed it because it didn’t help immigrants enough.
    NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, June 8-11: Regardless of how you feel about it personally, do you think that deporting all illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States back to their native countries is a realistic and achievable goal, or not?
    85% said no.
    Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll. June 7-10:”Do you think illegal immigrants mostly take jobs that nobody wants or do they mostly take jobs away from Americans who need them?”
    56% said “jobs nobody wants”; 27% said “takes jobs away.”
    I’m sure you could find data to support your position, too. Much depends on who is asking the questions, how they are phrased, what is the sample set, etc. The reality is that opinion on immigration, like the policy issues we face on the subject, is complicated. A black and white, simplistic approach will not solve anything.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 31, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Sorry but our immigration laws are black and white. If the question is posed, “Are you opposed to illegal immigration”? You would get a resounding YES from most Americans.
    Why do you think that neither of the Senate immigration bills passed? Because most Americans want legalization for these illegals? If you think so then you aren’t dealing in reality.
    Why do you illegal alien symphathizers insist on using the term “immigrants” for illegal aliens? It is not the legal term for them and blurs the line between those immigrants who come here legally and those who violate our immigration laws.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    August 31, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Also, since the U.S. media only rarely covers domestic Mexican politics, I think Elvira’s story will be played out largely for a Mexican and U.S. Latino audience. She’ll get some press if she comes back to the U.S. under diplomatic cover, but up to now, I doubt most Americans have even heard of her. Then again, she may have been getting wall-to-wall coverage from Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Dobbs–I don’t have cable, so I have no idea.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    August 31, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Frank, argument by assertion convinces no one. You can repeat yourself ad infinitum, but I’ve not yet seen you make an actual argument backed by actual evidence.
    Why do you think that neither of the Senate immigration bills passed? Because most Americans want legalization for these illegals? If you think so then you aren’t dealing in reality.
    Obviously you didn’t even read my comment, much less the polls I linked to, or you would have seen this:
    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. June 22-24:
    30% opposed the proposed Senate bill because it went too far towards helping illegal immigrants, 45% supported the bill or opposed it because it didn’t help immigrants enough.
    You don’t have to speculate too much about why people did or didn’t support the bills–that is why we have opinion research.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 31, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Still any reputable poll where the simple question was asked, “do you oppose illegal immigration into our country”, you will get an overwhelming, YES! Were these illegal aliens called “immigrants” in the poll? Well, that would explain a lot about the results.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    September 1, 2007 at 8:31 am

    The question of amnesty should be posed to the American people as follows:
    Do you think that illegal aliens who steal identities and use fraudulent documents should go to prison? That would probably solve the question of the possibility of an amnesty, as most citizens would say yes, and there would be few illegal aliens that would not be guilty and qualify. Civic-minded Americans would never tolerate forgiveness of a crime by an illegal alien that they’d be subject to prosecution for. Americans have a great sense of justice that way, unlike amnestas who obviously never took Civics 101.
    The 1986 amnesty was wrong for many reasons, but the most aggregious reason is that it let in millions of people who were never imbued with a sense of law and order, the history of this country, its principles and what it is to be an American. That amnesty involved millions who lied under oath to qualify, and a second amnesty will result in the same, more millions who were brought up in a culture of corruption where it was ok to lie to the police and their government and make a mockery of laws. These people undermine the American character and make us less than we can be. One more amnesty that includes millions of ignorant and clueless illegal aliens can only make it worse.

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