Mexican activist Elvira Arellano, who once holed up in a Chicago church for more than a year to avoid deportation, took part here Thursday in her first protest since being re-admitted to the United States on humanitarian parole.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) also participated in the march and rally in Chicago's Federal Plaza.

The lawmaker, an outspoken proponent of immigration reform, said that if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has not acted on the issue by July, President Barack Obama would have to begin signing executive orders to protect more undocumented migrants from deportation.

Specifically, Gutierrez told Efe, the president should bar the deportation of parents of undocumented youths who qualify for Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Obama should also extend protection from deportation to undocumented migrants with U.S.-born children, the congressman said.

Arellano - TIME magazine's Person of the Year in 2006 - was deported from the United States in August 2007, shortly after she left the Chicago church that sheltered her from immigration authorities seeking to enforce a 2002 deportation order.

She returned to the country earlier this month as part of a large group affiliated with the Bring Them Home movement.

The activist and her two sons, 15-year-old U.S. citizen Saul and infant Emiliano, who was born in Mexico, passed through California's Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

Saul was freed within hours, while Arellano and the baby spent two days in custody before their release on humanitarian parole.

A judge will decide on Arellano's request for asylum in the United States.

For the moment, she and her sons are living at Adalberto United Methodist Church, where Arellano found sanctuary from deportation eight years ago. EFE