The Washington Post from last Friday, November 17, included a must-read article on Governor Richardson's efforts to assist an illegal immigrant currently taking refuge in a Chicago catholic church.
Richardson has followed Elvira Arellano's case in news reports and considers her family's plight a "perfect example" of why immigration reform is necessary, his spokesman Jon Goldstein said.
Arellano, a former cleaning woman at O'Hare International Airport convicted of using a false Social Security number, has been in the church since August. Her 7-year-old, U.S.-born son, Saul, this week traveled to Mexico and successfully lobbied its Chamber of Deputies to call for the U.S. Congress to suspend the deportation of illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens.
"The Arellano case puts a spotlight on the danger of not acting on a comprehensive immigration plan," Richardson wrote Wednesday in a letter to Bush that was released by the governor's office Thursday. "Inaction puts our most vulnerable citizens _ the estimated three million American citizen children of illegal immigrants _ at risk."
The governor, whose mother is from Mexico, said that deporting Arellano will create a "terrible choice" for the family _ forcing the boy to leave his mother if he stays in the U.S. or "forfeit his right to grow up an American."
The Bush administration, of course, is refusing to treat the situation with any logical consideration. What immigration hardliners fail to understand is that by deporting parents of US Citizens they are breaking up families, creating a whole new class of orphans.
New Mexico has a better understanding of the immigration issue. We are a border state, a state that is only about 85 years old, and the border grew up around our people. Any viable solution to the immigration "problem" needs to show compassion for families.