Deported Immigration Activist Reminds Obama of Plight of the Children of the Undocumented

MEXICO CITY — As President Barack Obama arrived in Mexico City Thursday, a small group of immigration activists demonstrated at the U.S. Embassy on leafy Paseo de la Reforma, close to downtown. They were there to demand comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. and a stop to immigration raids and deportations.

Children who are U.S. citizens but now live in Mexico because of their parents’ deportations were there. After President Obama said at his speech in the Democratic National Convention last year that no one “benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child,” activists had hoped he would stop deportations that break up families with an executive order. That has not happened.

The Pew Hispanic Center said this week that 73% of the children of undocumented immigrants were born in the U.S. and are U.S. citizens.

One of the protesters present was Elvira Arellano, who became known nationwide when she fought a deportation order in 2006 by seeking sanctuary inside a Chicago church. Arellano was finally deported in 2007 and now runs a shelter for deported women and children in Tijuana while continuing to work for immigration reform from the other side of the border. She came to the embassy with her 10-year-old son, Saúl, a U.S. citizen.

You can watch a slideshow on the Arellanos below or, for higher quality, go to our YouTube channel.

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