Immigration Activist Arellano Returns to Chicago

Elvira Arellano is living at Adalberto United Methodist Church, where she took sanctuary in 2006

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Mexican immigrant who was deported in 2007 returned to Chicago. Elvira Arellano made headlines when she famously hid out in a Chicago church in Humboldt Park. Sunday she returned to that same church. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Sunday, Mar 23, 2014)

    The Mexican activist who took sanctuary at a Chicago church for a year to protest her deportation has returned.

    Elvira Arellano is living at Adalberto United Methodist Church, where she took sanctuary in 2006.

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    This time, she's not confined to the church.

    Arellano was released from U.S. custody Thursday as she sought to seek permission to enter the country without legal documents.

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    "She said I'm so happy to be here and be part of the dream my son has," said Emma Lozano, who was speaking for Arellano.

    In 2006, Arellan sought refuge in Humboldt Park, with her then 8-year-old U.S. born son to avoid being deported back to Mexico.

    Her story gained national attention, but despite her efforts, she was deported.

    The Rev. Walter Coleman said Sunday that Arellano is taking stock before an April hearing when she'll make her case before an immigration judge. Her attorney says she has a very strong case.

    "Based on her human rights work in Mexico, she has been targeted and threatened in other ways," he said.

    Arellano is currently with her sons, a now U.S. citizen teenager and a Mexico-born baby.

    "We have to support all the families because they all deserve to come back home to their childre," Lozano said.

    Arellano is protesting the separation of families through deportation. She wants President Barack Obama to extend deferments he gave to DREAM Act children and parents of U.S. citizen children.