Share

In 2002, Elvira Arellano, a Mexican immigrant in Chicago, was arrested for living in the U.S. without papers.

Her deportation order came in 2006, but she refused to turn herself in, claiming sanctuary in the Adalberto United Methodist Church, with her son Saul, a U.S.-born citizen. She was eventually arrested at a demonstration five years later and was deported.

In March of this year, Arellano dared to cross into the U.S. again. All the demonstrators with her applied for asylum together, while their loved ones cheered them from the U.S. side less than a quarter mile away. Arellano and her younger infant son were allowed into the country while an immigration judge decides her case. She rejoined her older son Saul, now 15, and Adalberto’s pastor, Emma Lozano and has been released into the U.S. on parole. 

The photo is of Elvira and a volunteer looking over her immigration paperwork right after she came out of the federal building in San Diego.