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ICE Will Not Arrest Illegals In “Sanctuary”

From those lovers of the gorgeous mosaic at the DNC's Associated Press:

ICE official says government won't enter church, Arellano unconvinced

August 18, 2006 – Immigration enforcement officers do not plan to enter a storefront church on the city's West Side where an activist has sought sanctuary since she was scheduled to be deported this week, a government official said Friday…

Arellano has been living in the church since Tuesday, when the 31-year-old single mother was supposed to surrender to authorities for deportation to Mexico. Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had said they would apprehend Arellano at a time and place "of their choosing" and that nothing prevented them from going into the church. But on Friday, a government official close to the case said immigration agents have decided against entering the church to remove Arellano.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is against ICE policy to discuss operational matters, said the Arellano case carries "no more priority than any of the other 500,000 fugitives nationally."

She will be apprehended "at an appropriate time and place," the official said…

The small, un-airconditioned church in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood has become the epicenter of the local immigration movement. It was abuzz with activity Friday as supporters lined up to read statements to the media and curious neighbors tried to catch a glimpse of the petite woman with piercing, coffee-colored eyes who has publicly defied a federal deportation order.

In between interviews, Arellano posed for pictures taken with camera phones and listened to random well-wishers pledge their support. Many who wandered into the church are in similar situations or have relatives trying to avoid deportation…

Uriel Avalos, his wife, Maria, and their two small children were among those who stood in line at the church to meet Arellano.

"It's very sad what is happening to her because she wasn't doing anything bad," said Uriel Avalos. If immigration agents tried to enter the church, Avalos said they would likely "run into a lot of people."

Activist Fabian Morales said supporters would do what they could to prevent Arellano from being taken away. Many remain at the church around the clock.

"We are here to protect her," he said.

Arellano was deported shortly after illegally crossing into the United States in 1997. She returned within days, living for three years in Oregon before moving to Chicago in 2000. She was arrested two years later at O'Hare International Airport, where she was working as a cleaning woman, and convicted of working under a false Social Security number.

In the years since her 2002 arrest, she has become a vocal proponent for immigration reform and is president of United Latino Family, a group that lobbies for families that could be split by deportation

I believe it is a felony to return to the US after having been deported. Funny, the article doesn't mention that.

Clearly it's more important to know she has "piercing coffee-colored eyes."

But my how times have changed.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 18th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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