Mexican man leaves Denver church sanctuary after 9 months

DENVER (AP) -- A Mexican man who has been living in a Denver church's basement for nine months to avoid deportation walked away Tuesday, saying immigration officials told him he is no longer a priority for deportation.

Arturo Hernandez Garcia claimed sanctuary in October at the First Unitarian Society.

According to the Denver Post ( ), Hernandez says he got a letter from immigration officials informing him of their decision.

Hernandez and his family came to the United States on a tourist visa in 1999 and stayed after Hernandez got work as a contractor.

Hernandez said he got into a scrape with another contractor while laying tile. He was arrested and acquitted when he went to trial. The deportation order came after his arrest, and he was ordered expelled from the country last fall.


Information from: The Denver Post,

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