Sanctuary for Immigrant Rights Begins Anew in Chicago Church

On January 29, immigrant rights activist Flor Crisóstomo announced that she will refuse to report for deportation as ordered by Homeland Security and will take sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Crisóstomo's decision follows in the footsteps of fellow activist Elvira Arellano, who herself took sanctuary and defied a deportation order for more than a year before leaving sanctuary to embark on a nationwide speaking tour. In the course of the tour, Arrellano was seized, arrested, and deported.

Crisóstomo, a Mexican citizen driven to the U.S. because of NAFTA-driven economic policies, commented about the difficulty of also addressing xenophobic anti-immigrant policies in the U.S.: "They say they expect us to self-deport, but we cannot leave because of what U.S. economic policies have done to destroy jobs in our home countries. That is why the current policy will not end the system of undocumented labor. It will only drive us into worse and worse jobs."

Crisóstomo and Arellano have a shared history of activism besides sanctuary. The two activists also participated in a successful month-long hunger strike to win an immigration continuance.

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Past coverage: Two part interview with Elvira Arellano on Chicago Independent Television - part one | part two

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