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Ex-Chicago activist seeking Mexican seat

CHICAGO, June 27 (UPI) -- A Mexican woman known to Chicagoans as an immigration activist who sought sanctuary in a church says she is running for Mexico's congress, observers say.

Elvira Arellano created controversy in Chicago in 2006 when, as an illegal immigrant, she holed up in a Methodist church in an attempt to keep U.S. immigration agents from deporting her. Now she is running a long-shot congressional campaign to represent a district in Tijuana, Mexico, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

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The newspaper said Arellano is aligned with the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party, while Mexico's two other major parties dominate the state of Baja California. In an interview, Arellano, who heads a group that tries to reunite families split by deportation, said her party has given her $20,000 for a contest in which she is running against the brother of the state's governor.

"It's true that I didn't really know Tijuana," Arellano told the Tribune. "What I do know is the needs of families. I know the reasons we have to (emigrate) to the United States. I lived the same things that thousands of people here in Tijuana have lived."

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