Monday, August 13, 2007

Move over Mother Teresa

Tiger Woods is back to winning again and got lots of print media attention today, but he comes in second in ink to….(drum roll, please)….Elvira Arellano.

Her story starts out with a nice color photo four columns wide on Page One of the Sunday Daily Herald. The headline, “A DAY IN SANCTUARY”, sets the tone for this piece on a modern-day martyr. Then she gets half a page as the story continues on page 16, then on to page 17 for another half page. There’s even a picture of Saul, a dog, and a church altar. Do you feel the old cockles warming?

Tara Malone wrote the story in sort of a day-in-the-life format, with lots of references to poor Saulito who is a victim in all of this. (Tara fails to mention that Elvira plays that boy like a fiddle, sending him off to meet with politicians on both sides of the border and telling him exactly what to say.)

Here are some snippets of pathos from Tara’s “report”:
“Arellano wakes to an empty room”
“Sit-ups come next, a concession to 361 days of not moving around much. She’s dropped fajitas from her diet, too.”
“A Chihuahua named Daisy…is part of the security web that guards Arellano.”
“I am here to fight, to stay with my son and to be part of the legalization.”
(Just a thought, but I’m thinking as a felon who had defied a deportation order she is not likely to be part of any legalization program. But stranger things have happened.)
“Arellano is never alone. Someone’s always there to answer a doorbell and check for strangers.”
(It seems I read in the Bible that there would be people calling evil good and good evil. This article makes our federal agents sound like the bad guys with words like “unfamiliar” and “strangers”. Hmmm.)
“Arellano tidies up the room they share.”
She “lights a new stick of incense.”
She “tends to the patch of tomatoes…in the church yard.”
Donations are listed in Tara’s article as well. Saul brings home $70 from his gig at the Methodist conference. Then the mail brings an additional $132. Wow, two hundred bucks and it isn’t even 2:00 p.m.. She makes more money than I do!
I’m sure a pillar of the community like Elvira is on the up-and-up with her income. I wonder which kind of charitable organization she has set up with the IRS? No doubt there is a full accounting of donations and expenditures.
Any mail critical of her actions is torn up and thrown away. “She doesn’t need to see these,” according to her handler at the church.
Elvira eats McDonald’s that night. “On a hot summer night, the reprieve from turning on a hot stove is welcome.”

Sainthood, I tell you. That’s what this poor woman deserves.

Or maybe the alternative never mentioned in the article. She could return in peace with her son to Mexico. No more captivity. No more struggling with a foreign language. And I suppose she’d lose her perks as well, but the main thing is that she and Saulito could walk the streets together and not live in fear. I wonder why she stays here?

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