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Chicago prepares for immigration march

April 30, 2008 5:41:36 PM PDT
There will be a May Day march for immigration rights in Chicago Thursday.Some immigration activists are rallying around flor Crisostomo. She is an illegal immigrant who has taken sanctuary in a Chicago church.

Adalberto United Methodist Church officials say they have a reliable government source that claims homeland security is preparing for U.S. Marshalls to get a warrant to enter the church and arrest undocumented mother Crisostomo, who is in sanctuary there. The church expects this to happen Thursday.

"It is an effort to intimidate the community. It is also an effort we have been informed to stop the spread of the sanctuary movement that has gained support in churches throughout the nation," said Rev. Walter Coleman, Adalberto United Methodist Church.

Crisostomo was arrested in 2006 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was asked to depart the United States voluntarily. She decided on sanctuary at the church.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security states Crisostomo will be taken into custody at an appropriate time and place with consideration given to the safety of all involved.

Crisostomo says if she is arrested like a common criminal she wants the undocumented not to be weak and give up their fight but rather to show their strength.

"We want a state of solidarity and our support for those 12 million undocumented," said Jose Lopez, Humboldt Park activist.

Crisostomo is the second mother to seek sanctuary in the church. Elvira Arellano spent a year at Adalberto Church before her arrest and deportation in Los Angeles. Her son, 9-year-old Saulito, now living in Mexico, is back in Chicago to prepare for the march Thursday.

"We're going to march tomorrow. But we're marching all the way to November. And we are going to take back the government and we're going to make it just for every single worker and every single family in the United States of America," said Emma Lozano, Familia Latina Unida Sin Fronteras.

Advocates for undocumented immigrants are calling the rally a march of courage.

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