Monday, September 10, 2007

Elvira Arellano: U.S. immigration policy and family values

Elvira Arellano: U.S. immigration policy and family values

I don’t know how much coverage the Elvira Arellano case got in Philadelphia. I was in Mexico at the time and there it was pretty much all Elvira, all the time.

I was very happy when I returned to learn that the National Organization for Women had taken a position in support of Arellano and against the raids and deportations which are tearing immigrant families apart. Here is the NOW statement:

NOW Denounces Deportation of Immigrant Rights Advocate Elvira Arellano
August 22, 2007

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is urging its members to speak out against the recent deportation of immigrant rights activist Elvira Arellano, president of La Familia Latina Unida (United Latino Family). La Familia lobbies on behalf of families that could be split up because of deportation.
Arellano, an undocumented worker who took refuge in a Chicago church last August to prevent being separated from her U.S.-born son, was deported to Mexico after she left the church in order to lobby House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for fair and comprehensive immigration reform. Arellano's case represents one of many in which mothers are being separated from their children and deported without any consideration being for the rights and needs of their minor children who are U.S. citizens.
"It is an outrage that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), in a deplorable operation called 'Return to Sender' is violating the rights of U.S. born children and placing their well-being in jeopardy. In a cold-hearted and punitive manner, ICE ignores pleas from mothers and fathers who have lived, worked, paid taxes and formed families in this country not to be separated from their dependent children," says Olga Vives, Executive Vice President of NOW.
NOW's response to the Arellano case is part of the organization's larger call for an immediate moratorium on the immigration raids and deportation that have been devastating families and communities across the United States, and our call for the U.S. government to pass real immigration reform. Fair reform must address many issues, including a way to afford families like the Arellanos, with U.S.-born children, a path to legalization, residency and citizenship.
NOW recognizes the contributions of immigrant women and encourages equitable and fair immigration policies that provide legal and safe immigration options, a path to citizenship, reproductive freedom and economic justice, and urges Congress to enact real, just and humane immigration reform legislation.
NOW Executive Vice President Olga Vives is available for comment on the Arellano case and other issues related to immigrant women's rights in the U.S.

I don’t know what the best immigration policy would be, but it is clear that this country can not deport 12 million people. And once again the so-called advocates of family values are pursuing anti-family policies.

Olga Vives, national NOW executive Vice-president, will speak about this issue at Community College of Philadelphia on October 16 at 12:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. I hope some of you can join us.