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Deported Activist Fights to Reunite Families

Posted on Aug 20, 2007
AP Photo / Julio Cortez

Elvira Arellano cuddles with her U.S.-born son, Saul, in her temporary sanctuary at Chicago’s Adalberto United Methodist Church in this file photo from last year.

After leaving the sanctuary of the Chicago church where she held off immigration authorities for a year, Mexican immigration activist Elvira Arellano was arrested and deported after speaking out at an immigrants’ rights demonstration in Los Angeles.  Now in Tijuana, Arellano will continue her efforts to reunite with her American-born son and will keep fighting for families divided by immigration laws.


Immigration activists said Monday they will continue Arellano’s original plan to go to Washington, D.C., and take part in a prayer meeting and rally Sept. 12. They also called for a national boycott on that date.

“We are calling upon the population of the United States to not go to work, to not send their children to school and to not participate in commerce, either buying or selling anything,” Juan Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement U.S.A. said during a small protest outside the downtown Los Angeles federal building.
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By Forkboy, August 22, 2007 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

I too, like others here, have a problem with illegal aliens and the softness my party (the Dems) show on this issue.  First, the notion that a child born on American soil is a citizen when born of illegal aliens is absurd.  Think of the logic used in legal matters - when evidence of a crime is obtained by illegal means the defendant is released because the evidence gained is “fruit of the poisonous tree”.  How then can a child of illegal aliens be granted citizenship if its parents are not citizens?  It simply doesn’t make sense.

And regarding the economic side of this issue, illegal immigrants are not taking jobs that Americans are unwilling to do.  The truth of the matter is that from the supply of potential legal labor in this country if an employer cannot attract employees at a given wage/benefit package then they need to offer a better package and, in turn, pass that cost along to the buying consumer.  By allowing illegal aliens to come here and take those jobs at the less-than-market rate for the supply of labour they are, in effect, circumventing the law of supply and demand.  They pervert the economic system by which this nation runs.  And every company which elects to turn a blind eye to such matters is doing it simply to save a buck.  Otherwise they would, as dictated by the law of supply and demand, have to offer more to that potential supply of labour. 

It’s all about dollars and cents and in no small part we, as Americans, are at fault.  We expect everything to cost nothing.  We have been told and sold the idea that we can and SHOULD have everything we want for the lowest of price.  If Americans truly want to stem the tide of illegal immigrants then we need to make the rational for coming here go away.  Employers need to be willing to pay market-rate wages to legal residences and we, as consumers, need to be willing to pay the ‘premium’ that comes with paying Americans to do said work.

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By farmertx, August 22, 2007 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

#96269 by mackTN on 8/21 at 11:45 pm
(52 comments total)

The 12-20 million includes all fields of employment, construction, lawn care, hotels, restaurants; you name it.
A lot is an employer wanting to keep costs down or who make working conditions so bad that no one wants to put up with them.
If the market would bear the cost, farmers of all sizes could afford to pay more. But buyer’s at the wholsesale markets will only pay a base amount, unless there is a shortage due to weather induced crop failures.
Tomato’s here have been selling for 10-15 bucks a box for years.

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By mackTN, August 21, 2007 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

Granted—you need stoop labor for $8-10/hour—but 12-20 million!!  Hardly.  These businesses insisting on foreign labor are multinational corporations who hire illegals on an at-will basis, rarely give them any benefits, or pay them overtime.  These corporations want to completely redo most jobs so that only those working at a “professional” level” are fairly compensated. 

I wonder why we don’t save the lives of those in Darfur who would surely be delighted to work the fields, clean hotel rooms, serve as nannies as maids.  Think of how many we could save from genocide if we did so.  (I tend to think that the U.s. wouldn’t want to be accused of resuming slavery, even though this is a form of slavery, modern wage slavery using foreign workers who have no rights at all to demand anything.) 

This family reunification baloney is just that.  A lot of families don’t live together these days.  Its just a strategem to get us to focus on the 12 or 20 million who are already here.

I’ve been a lifelong Democrat like most here—isn’t is strange that almost everyone regardless of party affiliation abhors this amnesty campaign.  Why in the world would the Democrats try to push this down our thoats?  Why are all these SPP/Nafta meetings so secret and so urgent.

And why in the hell are we giveing 800 million dollars to Mexico to fight the drug cartels?  Why not just fix the border so they both dope and human smuggling is prevented? 

It’s time to impeach this guy before he sells the U.S. to Mexico or Saudi Arabia.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

RE: #96234 by farmertx on 8/21 at 6:37 pm

C’mon farmertx, don’t present yourself as a wounded puppy.  I am interested in facts, and you presenting yourself as someone who actually earns $8.00 hr and then tries to keep a roof over their head and food on the table is a slap in the face to those that do.

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

#96233 by Outraged on 8/21 at 8:31 pm
(115 comments total)

You are so far off the mark that I won’t continue discussing this with you.
Consider that you won.
That is what seems to be important to you.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

RE: #96227 by farmertx on 8/21 at 5:27 pm

I never said you lived the “life of Riley”.  The facts are that you couldn’t get a loan for a farm if your mortgage came out of the $8.00 hr you claim you earn.  Face it, for you that $8.00 is after “expenses”.

Well farmertx, I would NOT for $10.00 hr and no benefits “stoop” in a hot field, with scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas and what have you, to pick your vegetables. Thanks, but I prefer to stay in the ficticious “IVORY TOWER” you’ve given me.

The fact that you feel this is FAIR or OK tells me you don’t have a problem watching workers suffer for a pittance of a wage.  For you to claim you earn $8.00 hr and trash all those “illegals” or the supposed “lazy” Americans who actually do live at that wage, who may need welfare so they have FOOD is abominable.

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

I’ll be glad to let you come live the life of Riley that you describe.
Obviously you missed the part where I said I was a small farmer.
Obviously you missed the part on Farm Subsidies that said those subsidies went to Wheat Cotton Rice farms.
Where are the subsidies for vegetable farmer’s? In your dreams is where.
Come walk a mile in my shoes and tell me then how great I have it.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

RE:#96195 by farmertx on 8/21 at 1:26 pm


Of course I don’t know your EXACT situation but I do know this.

When a homestead is part the farm and the owner of the farm feeds his employees the following occur:

*They can buy food with farm income and expense it out, after all they are farm workers.

*They can pay the mortgage out of farm income, no money out of their $8.00 hr.

*They can buy clothes with farm profits, again expense it out.

*They can buy vehicles and fuel and expense them out of farm profits.

*They can expense out taxes from the farm.

*They can buy tools and equipment out of farm income and expense them out.

And after all that, most of your clothes paid for, your home, your vehicle and fuel, your food, and land taxes (all charged to the farm) then you make $8.00 hr.  I’d take that job any day.

*Let’s not forget farm subsidies (which by the way is welfare)

Sure, I knew farmers who had new vehicles, nice clothes and well maintained beautiful homes (on the farm of course) and earned $8.00 hr.  After that they were in a low tax bracket, and usually didn’t have to pay much in income taxes either.  So, if I made $8.00 after all my needs plus some were already satified, I’D JUMP AT THE CHANCE!  Most of us pay for these things after we get our paychecks.  WHY WOULD YOU NEED WELFARE!

If it was SO unprofitable why would all the rich people be buying up the farms and ranches.

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By NewsSophisticate, August 21, 2007 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Check this out.  America is trying to increase their grip on all Latin America and the Caribbean the same time they are trying to kick them out.  Read this article for details.

Homeland Security tightens Grip. Entering Latin America and the Caribbean

It looks like neo imperial America is increasing her empire. Touting “the Time Has Finally Come” and “..the long anticipated event”,Homeland Security and apparently her little sister the, Latin American Caribbean Security Council (LACHSS ), is holding a summit November 7-10, 2007 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. With a goal of bringing Latin America and the Caribbean countries into the existing homeland security apparatus, the LACHSS summit has a stated mission…

Please read the full story

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Re:#96191 by Outraged on 8/21 at 1:05 pm
(113 comments total)

Am so glad that you won’t approve of my practices. I had really been worried about that.
As for profit on my part, I’m making that $8/hr that will put anyone on the welfare roll. ‘Cept I have never been on welfare of any kind.
So you sit in your ivory tower and dream of a better world. I am existing in the real world.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

RE: #96189 by farmertx on 8/21 at 12:41 pm

You “use” illegals?  That my friend is for profit and for no other reason.  If multinational corporations were “pared” from the welfare rolls we could feed the WORLD!  It’s obvious you need to find an excuse you can live with for your “use” of illegals.  You are part of the problem not the solution. And at $8.00 an hour OF COURSE THEY’LL BE ON THE WELFARE ROLLS AND SO WOULD ANYONE AT $10.00 hr.  Stay in your tunnel vision of the situation, at least you won’t be causing any more “COLLATERAL DAMAGE” than you already do.  I see want you really want is for everyone to qualify your practices, I for one, never will.

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Re:#96183 by Outraged on 8/21 at 12:13 pm
(112 comments total)

I suggest you check with the hospitals in El Paso Texas to see how many Mexican women, without citizenship of any kind (undocumented, in other words) have babies there.
Then you can respond with OK, you weren’t embellishing that point.
As a small farmer, who cannot find citizens willing to do ‘stoop’ labor at $10/hr, I have used illegals at $8/hr so that folks here and in Dallas can have some vegetables to eat.
At current prices, I am doing good to earn the equivalent of $8/hr and I own the land and provide all the seed, fertilizer, chemicals and equipment. So I don’t feel that I am taking advantage of the illegals.
That some companies do is a given. Your average small farmer isn’t one of those.
I have been very lucky that none of my laborers’ have been injured on the job. Had they been, it would have been my expense to get them treated.
Congress will allow computer programers and the like into the country from any place on work visa’s. Try to get an immigrant in on a work visa for farm work. It doesn’t happen.
Again, if the illegals were pared from welfare rolls and school enrollments, a large part would be solved with our immigration problem.
Just as eliminating fraud and waste would go a long ways in helping keep taxes lower.
Neither will happen, because it is not in the interests of the Congress Critter’s who take bribes, otherwise known as campaign contributions from special interests to maintain the status quo.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

RE: farmertx

This is just another little “guy” to use as a scapegoat for the rich.  Again, it’s the “divide and conquer” strategy and your buying into it.  No child or parent should separated or imprisioned using this type of “supposed” security measure or legal status excuse.

“Ran across the border to give birth my foot.” your embellishing quite a bit there don’t you think!

If you have issues with immigration, take that up with the multinational corporations and the greedy pup we call our president.  Two days ago, he was in Canada for a meeting with the leaders of Mexico and Canada as well as the NACC, something they called the SSP III summit.

The NACC is a group of “business leaders” whose identity is suspect.  Notice the familiar black-listed corporations; the American Co. who are members:

*Campbells Soup Co. (one of the largest food companies in the world)
*Chevron Co.
*Ford Motor Co. (another facist roots corp)
*Fed Ex
*General Electric (this corp has its finger in every pie and owns Manpower one the the largest TEMP employers in the world)
*General Motors (there still going strong, just not here in America)
*Kansas City Southern (check out which points they run to and from)
*Lockheed Martin Co.
*Merck and Co.
*Proctor and Gamble (another corp with facist ties)
*New York Life Insurance Co.
*UPS (aren’t they the ones with all the temp workers)
*Wal-Mart (this corps “practices” are just pure evil)

This meeting was secretive and without oversight by any other governmental authorities of any of the countries involved. It was supposedly to enhance “secure” trade between the countries.  Hmm….what’s wrong with this picture?

People in Canada protested the “summit” and reports were extremely inconsistent.  Some papers reporting approx. 100 protesters to others reporting 1,000’s of protesters.  Hmmmm…...what’s wrong with this picture?

The problem is not with the people, it is with the abusers of people.  And at the top of that list would be ALL OF THE ABOVE.  You talk of illegalities…..???? these corps as well as Cheney and Bush, these CROOKS wrote the BOOK!

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By P. T., August 21, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

To my knowledge there is nothing that keeps Mexican families from reuniting in Mexico.  It seems like a phony issue.

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

RE:#96143 by VietnamVet on 8/21 at 9:25 am
(24 comments total)

Vet I am a life long Democrat and am ashamed of the Partys’ stance on many immigration issues. The Voter ID is chief among them.
I have to show a DL to rent a video. Why shouldn’t I and everybody else show an ID to vote?
‘Course, in Texas, the state gives DL to any that apply, and some that don’t.
Remove illegals from welfare and school rolls and that will solve a lot of the problems.
Easier access to work visa’s, which don’t give any citizenship rights, just the right for that one person to be here and work.

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By carlito paquito, August 21, 2007 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

one last irresitable caveat, how can “we the people” legally insist opportunity & jobs to remain on u.s. soil in lieu of off shoring, out sourcing, etc., thereby leaving only the few menial jobs for those tiny little mexicans? i don’t know about you but i don’t like picking on the weak. Do you? I don’t.  Do you? I don’t. carlito paquito aka av guy

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By carlito paquito, August 21, 2007 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

i’m still trying to figure out how my neighborhood transformed into the very place i believed was the “enemy” during the 60’s? Coney Island is now Russia. That’s okay with me.  Maybe the Russians can advise the Mexicans how they did it? inquiring minds want to know.  Se hablar espanol and inglis;)

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By legal, the legal way, August 21, 2007 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sick of having to learn Spanish to get a job.  I’m tired of hospital emergency rooms closing because of illegals runing up bills, I’m pissed the companies supress wages by hiring illegals while thier profits are at record highs but mostly I am dissapointed that as a americans we have become a nation of limp appendages that bend too easily in ANY direction and have no spine!!!  The truth is if we gave the 20 million illegals citizenship they would be on the “doll” and most municipalities couldn’t afford it - especially in light of the fact that the Fed Gov’t does not give relief. 
If I was found to work with illegal documents - I can imagine I could get sent to jail?  We are a nation of laws - any nobody is above them - NO BODY.
I won’t even get into the fact that in Calif - most of the crimes are committed by illegals or newly “legal” immigrants of mexican descent.  I know I sound “racist” - I am not - it just happens to be the facts on the ground -do a little research - it ain’t pretty.
ps: this is a tough issue - that affects all of us on soo many levels - let’s keep trying to figure it out - until then -I say ” round them up and kick them out”.  Let them get here legally - like people from other countries do.

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By VietnamVet, August 21, 2007 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

I am a strong supporter of the Democratic party, EXCEPT on this issue. It is the only issue where I tend to agree with the Republicans. There are legal ways of getting into this Nation, short of breaking the laws. And, when these illegals do arrive, it is a constant string of laws being broken: 1. They cross illegally. 2) More often than not they present forged, illegal papers to obtain jobs. 3. They present illegal papers to obtain housing and driver’s licenses. 4) Some, certainly not all and it is probably a minority, commit crimes, up to and including murder.

The Democratic party, or a fair share of it, are on the wrong side of this issue.

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By farmertx, August 21, 2007 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

It is kinda early in the morning, but WTF is your problem?
Are you in favor of everybody moving to America?
Do you want a wall to keep everybody out?
Where am I and the others thinking that we are better than anybody else?

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By mackTN, August 21, 2007 at 1:19 am Link to this comment


I totally agree with you.  It shouldn’t be difficult for agriculturists to get field help, even hotels room cleaners.  But it looks like someone didn’t want the easy solution you describe.

I’m still reeling over the size of the illegal group—12 or 20 million!  No wonder it was so easy for terrorists to get into the country, live where they pleased, sign up for flying lessons and carry out their deed.  How can we spend so much money on security and then leave our doors unlocked?  DUH!

Unfortunately, these people are emboldened to demand rights because they were invited here by the Business Community.  Last summer while in a bar one night, I met a guy, an American living in Mexico City, who was in town to call on local businesses in need of Mexican labor.  I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, but now I realize how systematic this recruitment of Mexicans has been.  All you have to do is go to the website Essential Workers for Immigration (a huge coalition of U.S. business corporations, chambers of commerce, service unions) to read their correspondence to Congressional members in which they beg for immigration reform that includes unconditional! path to citizenship.

I keep informed using Roy Beck’s Numbers USA website.  A former journalist, he provides a wealth of information on the issue in a temperate manner.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

I find it adolescently overindulgent, that much like a child craving attention, the right wing insists on posting here.  To all previous posters: Grow the f**k up. (ie, a egg, dantinak, lonewackodotcom, farmertx, macktn)

The picture IS heart-warming. What kind of demented person would see anything other than that in it!

It is attitudes such as these that endorse and start wars, inflame ethnic cleasing and allow genocide throughout the world.

BREAKING NEWS!!!!  America is PART of the world and we’re not “better than the rest”. (They just told you that when you were a child, oh yeah, superman doesn’t really exist either)

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By mackTN, August 20, 2007 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Finally! She had her day in court and even the judges friendly to such cases ruled against her.  But in her mind, she has become Joan of Arc.  There’s nothing you can say to people who support her.  They believe that anyone who wants to come here should be able to even if we risk terrorist infiltration. 

I would not have opposed this latest amnesty bid if it had been a few hundred thousand.  I can understand desperation.  After all, look at the people of Darfur—they are facing death, and a nightmarish death at that.  We could certainly help more of them, but how can we help others if we have to naturalize 12-20 million who are here? 

We need to work more with other countries so that its citizens don’t feel such a pressure to emigrate.

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By farmertx, August 20, 2007 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

While such cases are sad, it remains that she wasn’t a legal alien.
I wonder was she one of the many who came across the border right before she went into labor and was rushed to the hospital, as an ‘emergency’ patient, where she gave birth and the child was awarded an American birth certificate, which grants him citizenship?
Why is it not feasible to give the child a Record of Live Birth to a Non Citizen?
Or just stabilize the mother and child and transport them to a Mexican hospital, with no paperwork as to citizenship.
Just as a large part of the immigration problem could be solved by refusing medical care to non-citizen’s who can’t afford it. Plus requiring proof of citizenship from any welfare applicant.
The same holds true for our schools. Parents are non-citizens, they kids don’t go to school here.
In Texas, you have to prove residency within a school district’s boundary to attend that district’s school(s). Just take it one step further.
And granting temporary work visa’s for pre-screened farm worker’s make sense.
Granting work visa’s for skilled trades/professions with people in those fields out of work doesn’t make sense. But it is done.

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By LonewackoDotCom, August 20, 2007 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

What a heart-warming photo!

But, somehow, I just can’t get this quote from an article she and her “agent” wrote out of my head:

“We have asserted that our demand to be here and to be fully enfranchised here is a right not a privilige and a destiny of our people to transform this nation.” (source:

I know I should wait on revealing that quote until more “mainstream” lefties besides TruthDig, Atrios, the Sojourners, and the AFSC throw their weight behind her efforts, but then again I’m a nice guy and I’m looking out for you.

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By dantinak, August 20, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Deported Activist?  You got to be kidding me!  How about deported illegal alien, who is abandoning her kid .  That seems more like the truth. 

I agree with a egg, Yes more ICE please!

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By a egg, August 20, 2007 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes.  At Very LONG last.
More ICE please!

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