The History of La Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras
Founded by Emma Lozano in 1987 to keep the legacy of her brother Rudy Lozano alive, Sin Fronteras is one of Chicago’s oldest existing Mexican organizations. For years, Sin Fronteras led the struggle to end school overcrowding, for adequate housing and health but soon found itself in the middle of the fight for legalization. Sin Fronteras brought thousands of petitions to Congressman Luis Gutierrez in 1997 urging him to introduce the first bill for legalization – which he did. The partnership between Sin Fronteras and Congressman Gutierrez, who has become the leader in this cause in Congress continued and grew stronger over the years.
Sin Fronteras organized marches every year and fought deportations on a case by case basis through its legal program. Many of these cases involved the separation of families with U.S. citizen children. When Elvira Arellano joined Sin Fronteras afer her arrest in 2001, Sin Fronteras formed Familia Latina Unida which soon grew to include hundreds of families facing separation. Together they testified in the city council, the county board and the state legislature winning formal support from those institutions as well as from the Mayor of Chicago and the governor of Illinois.
The families traveled by the busload to Washington D.C. over 15 times, speaking with over half the members of Congress and almost half the members of the Senate. They marched in front of the white house and organized a national class action suit which now stands before the Supreme Court. Finally, Familia Latina Unida joined with organizations across the country to call for the historic marches of 2005. When Elvira Arellano’s legal appeals had been exhausted, she took sanctuary at Adalberto United Methodist Church, bringing national and international attention to the cruel and inhuman separation of families as a result of this nation’s broken immigration laws.
Elvira left sanctuary to confront the leadership of the Democratic Party in California where she was arrested and deported but continues to organize in Mexico. Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras has never stopped for one day, one hour or one minute in the cause of our families and we cannot stop until victory is won!
What We Want & What We Beleive
We believe that the right and responsibility of a man and woman to form a family, work hard and stay together to raise their children in the ways of the Lord is given by God and must be recognized by this nation.
We want a renegotiation of NAFTA and other trade and financial agreements that have destroyed so many jobs in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, forcing millions to make the dangerous crossing north in order to feed their families.