Charges dropped against immigrant hid by church

A charge of illegally re-entering into the United States has been dropped by the US Department of Justice against an immigrant activist who sought refuge at a church in Oregon two years back in 2014 in order to try to avoid being deported.

In a motion to dismiss the charge on May 27, Greg Nyhus, the Assistant US Attorney, wrote that dropping the case against Francisco Aguirre, who has two children who are legal citizens of the United States, was “in the interests of justice.” However, Aguirre still faces the threat of deportation and made a statement saying he wants to put a stop to his family being the target of immigration authorities and called for the immigrant community to come together to defend their human rights.

Aguirre arrived in the United States illegally from El Salvador during the 1990s and ended up being deported in 2000 after being arrested in Portland for selling cocaine and heroin. Aguirre later re-entered the country, becoming an activist for immigrant rights and coordinating a non-profit organization responsible for running a day labor centre, only to in 2014 again come to the attention of immigration authorities after being arrested for drunk driving.

In an email, Lori K Haley, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined to speculate on the next steps that would be taken in the case against Aguirre, adding that their focus continues to be on deporting people who pose a threat to public safety.