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Illegal Immigrant Activist Deported to Tijuana


Aired 4/19/09

Elvira Arellano says she'll continue to push for immigration reform from her new base in Tijuana. Arellano, who became a symbol for immigration activists when she defied deportation orders a year ago, has been arrested and sent back to Mexico. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackon has details.

Elvira Arellano became the face behind the nation's immigration debate when she sought refuge from immigration authorities in a Chicago church a year ago.

U.S. immigration officials had ordered her deportation for working at O'Hare International Airport using a false Social Security number.

But Arellano holed up for a year in the Chicago sanctuary so she wouldn't be separated from her 8-year-old U.S. citizen son.

Arellano traveled to Los Angeles to call for immigration reform and was arrested Sunday.

Speaking from her friend's Tijuana home, Arellano says she felt a sense of resignation when she was detained.

Arellano thanks god for allowing her to fight for the legalization of millions of families. She says she'll continue to fight from Tijuana where she says, at least, she's free.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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