Paul  Weyrich

I must admit: I am angry. I try not to be angry. After all, I work in Washington. Most everything that happens here could make you angry. If I wanted to think about it I could be in a state of rage over what is being done to our country. But I try not to let it get to me. Otherwise I could not be useful to my family or my church or the cause.

However, this story made me angry and I am still angry. The story revolves around 31-year old Elvira Arellano. It seems this young lady came here from Mexico but was deported. Soon thereafter she returned to the United States. She had a son here who, by virtue of his birthplace, is an American citizen. Authorities caught up with her as she used a fake Social Security card and worked at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. It gives one a lot of confidence that she could get by with working at O'Hare for a prolonged period of time before they nabbed her. You have to wonder who else is working at our major airports and is in a position to sabotage air travel. But that isn't what made me angry. What got to me is that Ms. Arellano, who is about to be deported again, has holed herself up at the Aldaberto United Methodist Church. She has the support of the Pastor, the Reverend Walter Coleman, and many in the church. They have vowed to feed and clothe her and her son in perpetuity if necessary to avoid her deportation. "She is the voice of the undocumented," one of the parishioners said. Really? Since when are the undocumented entitled to a spokesman?

The Pastor has said that she should not be required to chose between living with her son or removing him from home. She defiantly has told the Federal authorities in so many words, "I dare you to come and get me." A spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Gail Montenegro, has made it clear that the authorities have the right to come and get her even though she is in a church. But a professor at Pepperdine University said, "It would look very bad."

She is gambling that authorities are fearful of storming the church. They recall what happened under Attorney General Janet Reno when she invaded the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas. And they recall how people recoiled when Elian Gonzales was snatched away from his relatives in Miami in the middle of the night and returned to his father and the Communist regime his father supported. I never thought my government would do something like that and the picture of the frightened little boy taken at gunpoint made an indelible impression on me.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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