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Oregon rally in support of immigrant draws hundreds

Published:Thursday | October 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Francisco Aguirre

OREGON (AP): An interfaith service in support of an immigrant activist who has taken refuge at an Oregon church to avoid deportation drew hundreds of people to Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland.

The Oregonian reports that representatives from multiple organisations announced their support for 35-year-old Francisco Aguirre at Tuesday's service.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish said the City Council stands with Aguirre. Last week, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced his support.

The man who came to the US from El Salvador nearly two decades ago is facing removal to his native country because of an old drug conviction and a previous deportation. He sought sanctuary at the church on September 19.

Aguirre has two US citizen children and is now the coordinator of a Portland non-profit that runs a day labour centre. He disputes the criminal prosecution on drug-dealing charges 15 years ago and says he was innocent.

He says he greatly appreciates the community's support.