This is an excellent commentary on the Arellano fiasco, showing how it has hurt everyone.
BLUFF CALLED | Felon with huge sense of entitlement mocked law, gave immigrants stigma
The faceoff has ended. The lady in the church snuck out, made it as far as L.A., got nabbed by the feds and is finally back in Mexico.
Most people couldn’t pronounce her name and didn’t know she slipped into the country not once but a second time after border officials made it clear she was not to return. After being welcomed with open arms by whoever hires the cleaning ladies at O’Hare Airport, she was snagged in a post-9/11 raid and, a newly convicted felon, was ordered out of the country in 2004.
She refused to go, saying it was unfair for the government to separate her from her son Saul, who she said needed to be here to get treatment for “severe attention deficit disorder and severe separation anxiety.”
Saul, who on the Fourth of July 2006, after a long day of handing out pro-immigrant fliers in the hot sun, cried openly asking his “mami” why he hadn’t played in sprinklers and watched fireworks like other kids.
Saul, who despite his supposed medical disorders, was trotted out in front of every TV camera and microphone that appeared at the church’s door, then flown all over North America with a handler du jour to plead his mom’s case.
Saul, who in those first weeks of sanctuary was said to have been in contact with his unnamed father — who didn’t want to be smeared in the press — and months later would tell me, coldly, “I don’t have a father.”
Saul, whom I watched spend a long, miserable year holed up in a tiny apartment watching Spanish-language TV while trying to avoid the parade of people who stopped by to visit. Saul who had no mom or dad to take him to school everyday.
Saul who had to again watch his mother get arrested because she refused to go willingly.
Then there’s Elvira who, after being convicted of stealing someone’s identity, was given a pass on jail time in exchange for her departure. She proceeded to thumb her nose at the laws of the country she so desperately wants her son to grow up in.
Her entitlement complex turned off people who might have had a modicum of sympathy for the plight of illegal immigrants. Added bonus? It fueled the hatred from those who already wanted to see them all rounded up and shipped off.
In the process she made life more difficult for legal immigrants and U.S.-born Hispanics who will continue to endure the wrath of a country that’s disgusted that there seem to be one set of laws for “us,” and a more lenient set for the 12 million “them” who toil here for next to nothing at the cordial invitation of businesses and bargain-shoppers everywhere.
Though she only learned a rudimentary amount of English while in sanctuary — enough to deliver a brilliantly written speech I’d bet my life she didn’t compose — her message was crystal clear. Maybe not with her words, but with her actions Arellano did in fact say, “Catch me if you dare.”
Now that Immigration and Customs Enforcement called her bluff I can be clear, too: Adios and good riddance.
Elvira wasn’t “the face” of the 12 million illegal immigrants she claims to represent — they’ve been out working every day, unsheltered by the fear of the publicity disaster a church raid would have rained on ICE.
Those 12 million aren’t out flaunting their illegality in people’s faces or getting free food, shelter, child care, toys and cash donations delivered to their door daily while they spend their time doing radio interviews and posting protest songs to their MySpace pages.
Game over, Elvira.