Church and watchdog

Eric Zorn tells me what I did not know, that it’s a storefront church in which the illegal immigrant woman is taking sanctuary on Division Street.

She's not a dangerous outlaw or a threat to anyone. But the media/activist vigil at Camp Elvira in Humboldt Park is a bad business all the way around. It's generating lots of heat but shedding no light, whipping up ill will and retarding the cause of compassionate immigration reform.

Arellano, 31, is fighting deportation to Mexico by claiming sanctuary in a storefront church, defying the government to "send agents to a holy place" to arrest her.

He also explicates the illegality issue as well as can be done. Fish or cut bait, he advises: get her out of there now rather than later and in the broader matter, decide what’s good for the country:

The U.S. must have laws on immigration. Every nation must. And we can't let sentiment or popularity or claims about what God would or wouldn't want to happen inside a church cause us to ignore them.

In another Metro story, Chi Trib writer Art Barnum tells me far more and far more clearly than Sun-Times about legalities surrounding conviction of the drug-seller father to whom his 2 1/2–year-old in diaper and tee shirt led cops. She was watched over by a good-dog doberman who gave S-T cause for its “Doberman baby-sat 2-year-old; dad convicted” p-1 screamer. Not bad, if I do say so, but story got murky as to charges and convictions. S-T is going for the headless-corpse-in-topless-bar prize but has not quite made it.

Neither story goes into our draconian drug-law legalities, of course. The guy faces 12 to 50 years, for cryin’ out loud! Trib is good on his stated basis for appeal, however:

Assistant Public Defender Jeff York said Johnson . . . believes the police search was illegal because he . . . gave police permission [only] to check the apartment to ensure the child's safety. [Judge] Thompson previously ruled the search was legal.

As for the kid,

[Chief of Police] Anderson said there were no signs that the child was physically abused.

She was returned to her mother, Johnson's girlfriend, the night of her father's arrest. The dog went with her. [Italics added]

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