She's No Rosa Parks
by Mychal Massie
What would happen if a mobster such as Al Capone or John Gotti holed up in a church to escape justice? How about a deadbeat dad? Would they be compared to Rosa Parks for their determination to stand up to authority? Of course not.
Our nation does not acknowledge the ancient practice of churches serving as sanctuary or asylum from the law because it encourages criminal behavior.
But that is exactly what has happened in Chicago, where the government has demeaned itself by negotiating with Elvira Arellano, a woman living illegally in the United States. This church-ensconced scofflaw has been unfairly afforded privileges unknown to criminals with citizenship, yet her reprehensible behavior is drawing comparisons from the left to the late civil rights icon, Rosa Parks.
Elvira Arellano has become a poster child for the special treatment of illegal aliens. She broke into our country from her native Mexico in 1997. After a prompt arrest and deportation, she came right back a few days later.
Arellano moved from Oregon before moving to Chicago in 2000. She and dozens of other illegals working at O'Hare and Midway airports were arrested in late 2002 during a post-9/11 undercover sting code-named "Operation Chicagoland Skies." She was convicted of working under a false Social Security number. After three one-year stays of deportation based on the health of her son, the date for her return to Mexico was finally set for August 15, 2006.
She refused, taking refuge in the storefront Adalberto United Methodist Church. Arellano's reasons for continuing to break our laws are legion, but the one getting the most press is that her seven-year-old son "is a U.S. citizen [by birth and] he doesn't want [her] to go anywhere, so [she's] going to stay with him."
Arellano serves as president of United Latino Family - a group that lobbies against the separation of families by deportation. Her determination to use her child as a tool to stay in America is why her supporters are comparing her to Rosa Parks.
Is this preposterous, or what? Arellano claims she just wants to be a good mother and, therefore, "deserves" to stay in our country. She conveniently omits that her child was not born until one year after she had illegally entered the country a second time (and at the taxpayer's expense). My assessment is: She is a criminal who should be deported. She can be a good mother in Mexico.
Arellano represents the appalling truth that illegals are selfish criminals singularly intent on breaking our laws for personal gain. They claim, as she does, that they only want to work and raise their families. The problem with that canard is that while many work, others collect welfare and food stamps, live in subsidized housing and not only have their children at taxpayer expense but enjoy every child welfare program available.
Walter Coleman, pastor of the Adalberto United Methodist Church, claims that after praying about her "plight" he doesn't think she should have to choose between leaving her son behind or removing him from his home here.
I want to know what "god" told this so-called pastor to break the law. Was it the same one that told Paul Hill to murder an abortion doctor and his bodyguard over a decade ago?
When she was arrested at O'Hare, Arellano was cleaning jetliner cabins. Are we to believe that's a job Americans won't do? Her supporters say the anti-terrorist nature of the raid wrongly targeted her, but shouldn't the government be worried about falsely-documented workers in such sensitive environments?
Arellano seems to have no qualms about being compared to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. She also says she is armed with video cameras to film her potential church arrest.
She should title the anticipated video "Adios, Senorita."
# # #
Mychal Massie is the chairman of the black leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to MMassie@nationalcenter.org.
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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