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Elvira's Faith and Barack's Challenge: The Grassroots Struggle for the Rights of Undocumented Families

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By Rev. Walter L. Coleman
Paperback, 6"x9", 374 pages
ISBN 9780980119046

THE FIGHT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM: A VIEW FROM THE GRASSROOTS

The story of Elvira Arellano, an undocumented mother who took sanctuary in a Chicago church in order to stay with her U.S. ­citizen son­. Elvira became the face of a struggle that began as a spark for the basic human right of families to stay together and became a prairie fire for immigration reform and the civil rights of over 11 million people.

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By Rev. Walter L. Coleman
Paperback, 6"x9", 374 pages
ISBN 9780980119046

THE FIGHT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM: A VIEW FROM THE GRASSROOTS

The dramatic story of Elvira Arellano, an undocumented mother who took sanctuary in a Chicago church in August of 2006 in order to stay with her U.S. ­citizen son­. Her highly publicized year in sanctuary became one of the top ­national and international news stories of that year and changed the way the nation viewed undocumented immigrants. This book takes the reader through her journey north from Mexico to Chicago, where she found her place in one of the nation’s most dynamic movements for social justice. Elvira became the face of a struggle that began as a spark for the basic human right of families to stay together and became a prairie fire for the civil rights of over 11 million people. That fire would reach the halls of Congress, the ­office of the President himself, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.

With roots deep in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the Chicago grassroots gave rise to the first African American President and to the ­national leader of the immigration struggle, Congressman Luis Gutierrez. In Chicago, Elvira and her son joined a community of undocumented families united through their church and the advocacy activity of Sin Fronteras, led by Emma Lozano. The organization formed by Emma, Elvira, and the families—Familia Latina Unida—joined with grassroots organizations throughout the country to ­challenge the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama to take the side of the undocumented. In his second term, the President finally acceded to the demand for executive action to stop the mass deportations that were tearing Latino families and communities apart. In doing so, he drew a line of demarcation that has come to define the 2016 election.

Elvira’s story—the story of Familia Latina Unida / Sin Fronteras—is told by Rev. Walter Coleman, a Methodist minister who has spent fifty years in the struggle in Chicago and was pastor of the church where Elvira first took sanctuary.

With writing & commentary by Elvira Arellano, Reverend Emma Lozano, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Dr. José López, & Dr. John Womack

CONTENTS

Summary Timeline
Map of Principal Locations
Preface by Rev. Walter L. Coleman

PART ONE: ELVIRA’S FAITH
1    Elvira’s Family    
2    The Secret of Rudy Lozano    
3    Elvira’s Journey North    
4    New Life Comes to “Deadville”    
5    Elvira in Chicago    
6    A Partnership with Luis Gutierrez    
7    Sin Fronteras    
8    The Virgin of Guadalupe    
9    Familia Latina Unida    
10    The Grand Marches    
11    Sanctuary    
12    Leaving Sanctuary    
13    Elvira in Mexico

PART TWO: BARACK’S CHALLENGE
14    Preparing for President Obama    
15    Retracing Elvira and Saul’s Journey    
16    Spiritual Renewal    
17    Grassroots Leaders    
18    The Coalitions Concede    
19    Campaign for American Children and Families    
20    Secure Communities    
21    Southern Roots    
22    First Victories    
23    Election Day Watershed

PART THREE: THE RESURRECTION SPIRIT OF THE GRASSROOTS
24    A Return to the Moratorium    
25    The Children’s Campaign    
26    Fighting the Suppression of the Movement    
27    Toward a New Form of Organizing    
28    Breaking Through From Below    
29    Elvira’s Return    
30    The Spirit of Truth and the Border Crisis    
31    A 21st Century Emancipation Proclamation    
32    The Political Reset    
33    Spiritual Renewal Through the Eight Seasons of Faith    
34    The Signs of the Times    
35    The Supreme Court Non-decision

REFLECTIONS ON THE MOVEMENT
“¡ BORICUA Y MEXICANO, LUCHANDO MANO A MANO ! ”: The Puerto Rican Story within Familia Latina Unida
    by Dr. José López
A Very Short History of Maravatío
     by Dr. John Womack
An Interview with Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez
     conducted by Rev. Walter Coleman

APPENDICES
A    An Account of the First March
    by Father Marco Cardenas & Emma Lozano
B    Statement on Entering Sanctuary
     by Elvira Arellano    
C    Announcement on Leaving Sanctuary
     by Elvira Arellano
D    The Campaign for American Children and Families
     by La Causa de Familias Unida
E    Message to Congressman Gutierrez
     by Rev.Walter Coleman, Emma Lozano, & Elvira Arellano
F    “Craft an Immigration Policy”
     by Rep. Luis Gutierrez
G    Announcement of Immigration Executive Order
     by President Barack Obama
H    A Church of Resistance and Love
     by Rev. Emma Lozano