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Little sympathy for sanctuary

June 08, 2007

Re "A mother's plight revives the sanctuary movement," June 2

This is yet another piece championing an illegal immigrant seeking to avoid deportation, which is the prescribed penalty for the crimes committed by Elvira Arellano. This time, however, the story is dressed up in biblical quotes, as it describes efforts to encourage those who break our laws to seek sanctuary in churches to avoid the penalties prescribed for their lawbreaking. Interestingly, the story concedes that the sanctuary concept was never intended to allow the lawbreaker to avoid justice indefinitely, but rather to provide only temporary protection from vigilantes until the authorities rendered judgment. As I understand the case, Arellano has had due process and was ordered deported. She is free to leave the country and take her child with her. Arellano is only posturing to avoid the consequences of her bad choices by dressing them up as religious beliefs.

MARGARET MANNING

Los Angeles

*

The Times' series of heart-rending stories on the hardships facing illegal aliens here makes me ashamed to be a gringo. After all, it was the Latinos who made California what it is today. I was touched by Arellano's courageous attempts to avoid deportation that would separate her and her son by evoking the now-defunct practice of sanctuary in a Chicago church. I have a suggestion that could keep her and her son together, and it might just be crazy enough to work. She should gather up little Saul, hop on a bus back to Mexico and stay there until Congress declares our borders open to everyone south of the Rio Grande. That could happen almost any day now.

WILLIAM J. MCGEE

Tustin

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