Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chicago Sun-Times,

Supporters cheer return of 'Saulito'

Boy, 7, back from Mexican tour for immigrant momNovember 19, 2006BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter.

he 7-year-old ambassador returned to Chicago to a Northwest Side storefront church filled with supporters chanting "Saulito! Saulito!" Saturday night.Saul Arellano returned from a weeklong trip from Mexico to lobby Mexican lawmakers to allow his undocumented immigrant mother, Elvira Arellano, to stay in the United States.His supporters declared the trip a success, pointing to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies' approval of a resolution calling on the United States to suspend Arellano's --and other illegal immigrant parents' -- deportation. They were, however, a bit skeptical about whether a Democrat-controlled Congress might benefit Arellano's plight.A shy Saul first buried his face in his mother's chest, refusing to talk in front of a throng of reporters at the Adalberto United Methodist Church, 2176 W. Division. But he later spoke optimistically about the trip. Mexican lawmakers "said they were going to send a letter to President Bush," he said."It was very successful for us," added Emma Lozano, Saul's escort and president of the immigrants' rights organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras. "For [the Mexican Congress] to unanimously agree on anything is historic."After the multiple stays of deportation she got with the help of U.S. Senators Barrack Obama and Dick Durbin ran out, Arellano in August turned to the church to try to avoid deportation over an arrest for entering the country illegally and working here under a false Social Security number. Ever since, Arellano has been holed up in the church.Mother faces criticismArellano then dispatched Saul. He's traveled around the country, including to the gates of the White House, seeking amnesty for his mother.Arellano on Saturday responded to the criticism she has received for sending Saul on a quest to help. "A lot of people criticized that I'm sending Saulito from one place to another. They don't talk about his constitutional rights in this country and how they are being violated," she said.