The Rosa Parks of the Immigration Movement

This post written by Daniel Hernandez originally appeared on his blog, Intersections

Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant who spent an entire year in sanctuary in a Chicago church to avoid deportation, was arrested outside La Placita church at Olvera Street on Sunday and deported. Immigration agents in unmarked cars waited till she left the church, the spiritual birthplace of Los Angeles, surrounded her car, and nabbed her from her 8-year-old U.S.-born son Saul. She told Saul in the few moments she was allowed to console him, "Calm down. Don't have any fear. They can't hurt me."

Arellano was taken to an ICE facility in Santa Ana and then booted into Mexico at San Ysidro. Arellano has been widely photographed with a T-shirt that reads, "Who Would Jesus Deport?" and in that spirit I'm drawn back to a comment I left on my previous post on Arellano in response to a tired and fundamentally bigoted argument against "lawbreakers":
And I think that comparing Elvira Arellano to Rosa Parks is actually a sign of honor and respect, and an homage to her name and what Ms. Parks stood for: justice, compassion, and equal protection under the law. Ms. Parks was also denounced in her time -- by people like you.
So you keep wasting your time and energy in LaValle, WI against a human wave that is more or less unofficially welcomed by our government, while the rest of us in more progressive and pragmatic American cities get on with our lives and embrace the cultures and the dynamism that immigrants bring to our societies, as they have since the birth of this nation.
I imagine ICE agents feel pretty damn good about themselves today, arresting a young woman who posed no kind of threat to nobody, in front of her son outside a small church in the middle of L.A., but many of us believe in more cosmic forms of justice, justice that some believe will eventually catch up with the architects and agents of these destroyers of families and the sacred bonds that unite people.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.