Saul Arellano may be one of the most well-known schoolchildren in the United States whose mother has been deported. Saul’s mother, Elvira Arellano, 32, is an undocumented immigrant who lived in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago for a year to avoid being deported and separated from her son, who is 8 and a U.S. citizen. The boy participated in rallies and met with Washington politicians and Mexican officials in a campaign to try to persuade U.S. immigration authorities to let his mother stay in the United States, according to a May 8 interview with the boy by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Associated Press reports today that Ms. Arellano was arrested yesterday in Los Angeles after she left the church in Chicago to speak about immigration reform. She was deported to Mexico, according to an Aug. 20 press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
I’ve met a boy in rural Virginia who has lived with foster parents since his father was deported to El Salvador. I’ve had conversations this past school year with a teenager in New York City who has been raised by older siblings since her parents were deported to Mexico more than four years ago.
For now, Saul has been left behind in the United States. I’m curious to hear more about who will take care of him here and support him as he starts a new school year.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.