THE FIGHT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM: A VIEW FROM THE GRASSROOTS
The dramatic story of Elvira Arellano, an undocumented mother who took sanctuary in a Chicago church in August of 2006 in order to stay with her U.S. -citizen son-. Her highly publicized year in sanctuary became one of the top -national and international news stories of that year and changed the way the nation viewed undocumented immigrants. This book takes the reader through her journey north from Mexico to Chicago, where she found her place in one of the nation's most dynamic movements for social justice. Elvira became the face of a struggle that began as a spark for the basic human right of families to stay together and became a prairie fire for the civil rights of over 11 million people. That fire would reach the halls of Congress, the -office of the President himself, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.
With roots deep in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the Chicago grassroots gave rise to the first African American President and to the -national leader of the immigration struggle, Congressman Luis Gutierrez. In Chicago, Elvira and her son joined a community of undocumented families united through their church and the advocacy activity of Sin Fronteras, led by Emma Lozano. The organization formed by Emma, Elvira, and the families--Familia Latina Unida--joined with grassroots organizations throughout the country to -challenge the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama to take the side of the undocumented. In his second term, the President finally acceded to the demand for executive action to stop the mass deportations that were tearing Latino families and communities apart. In doing so, he drew a line of demarcation that has come to define the 2016 election.
Elvira's story--the story of Familia Latina Unida / Sin Fronteras--is told by Rev. Walter Coleman, a Methodist minister who has spent fifty years in the struggle in Chicago and was pastor of the church where Elvira first took sanctuary.
With writing & commentary by Elvira Arellano, Reverend Emma Lozano, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Dr. José López, & Dr. John Womack