Saturday, October 6, 2007

Boy leads protest over deported mother

Saul Arellano, center, and others, walk in the hall of the House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday Sept. 12, 2007. Arellano, an eight-year-old boy whose mother was deported to Mexico led a chanting crowd of about 150 pro-immigration activists through congressional offices Wednesday. Capitol police arrested two demonstrators for disorderly conduct. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

I read elsewhere that he gave a talk to an audience at the Houston Community College, Southeast Campus, and brought a whole audience to tears. He says that he wants to be a regular boy but that circumstances have put him in this situation of having to defend his mother and all immigrants. This is one courageous boy. -Angela

Boy leads protest over deported mother
By Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer | September 13, 2007

WASHINGTON --An 8-year-old boy whose mother was deported to Mexico led a chanting crowd of about 150 pro-immigration activists through the halls of Congress on Wednesday. Capitol Police arrested two demonstrators for disorderly conduct.

Saul Arellano and other children carried a banner that read: "Born in the USA. Don't take our moms and dads away."

The boy's mother, Elvira Arellano, was deported last month after taking refuge in a Chicago church for a year.

In Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, Elvira Arellano spoke about her son to several dozen demonstrators. Saul was scheduled to join her there Thursday.

"He is a boy who has been suffering because the U.S. government told his mother she couldn't stay in their country anymore because she was undocumented," she said.

In Washington, activists clashed with police outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, chanting and shouting for her to lead on immigration reform. Saul appeared to get enveloped in the shoving crowd.

Demonstrators taped two oversize letters to Pelosi's door -- one in English and one in Spanish -- warning her, "If Democrats expect our support in the next election, the Democrats must support us now."

Immigration reform legislation died in Congress this year and isn't expected to be revived anytime soon. Pelosi, D-Calif., was in Oregon on Wednesday for a forum on global warming.

The crowd went to Pelosi's office after a news conference where they prayed, denounced deportations and broke into chants of "Si, se puede!" or "Yes, we can!" Saul drew on a piece of paper and sometimes ducked behind a desk. Asked by a demonstrator whether he wanted to speak, he shook his head no.

The boy, wearing baggy jeans and a striped shirt and looking distracted, then joined other children at the front of an unruly procession through the halls and basements of two House office buildings. Behind him someone carried an icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe and two others held large flags, one Mexican and one Puerto Rican. At one point, a child hesitated to board an escalator, creating a bottleneck.

Protesters left the Cannon House Office Building after police threatened more arrests.

Elvira Arellano was in the U.S. illegally for several years before taking sanctuary at Chicago's Adalberto United Methodist Church, where she lived with her son for a year in defiance of a deportation order.

She left the church last month to speak to other immigrants around the country and was arrested in Los Angeles by immigration authorities. They deported her to Tijuana, where she has been promoting an overhaul to U.S. immigration laws.

In Los Angeles on Wednesday, several dozen people marched from a church to MacArthur Park, where a peaceful May 1 immigrants march and rally ended with police hitting and firing rubber bullets at surprised participants and news media.

Marchers carried signs saying "Families Unite!" as they walked on sidewalks to the park, escorted by police officers on bicycles. At the park, a rally attracted nearly 300 people, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.

A man was arrested for investigation of battery following a scuffle with another person. No other details were immediately released, and Lee said the rally was "peaceful otherwise."


Luis Perez in Tijuana, Mexico, and Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

1 comment:

Manny said...

I'd like to make a comment about the state policies on both sides of the border.
The problem is in both countries, so we cannot see it from just one point of view, we have to work together to truly see the magnitude of the phenomenon, I'm going to leave the next link just for you watch it and hopefully it will let you see the role and the impact that the media has in our perception.