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Francisco Aguirre in doorway of church
Helen Silvis
Published: 20 September 2014

Francisco Aguirre is originally from Salvador

Portland  Immigrant workers rights advocate Francisco Aguirre has taken sanctuary in Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland. An organizer with the Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center for day laborers, Aguirre, woke up Friday Sept. 19 to find Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at his door.

After finding they had no warrant to arrest him, Aguirre refused to open his door and talk with the agents without more information.

Aguirre-Francisco-webThe agents left but said they would return with a warrant.  Concerned about being involuntarily detained, Aguirre left the home he shares with his wife and children to seek sanctuary.

“He is a community leader who has been a member of the organization Voz for the past 15 years,” said spokesperson Ranfis Villatoro. “He helped found Voz workers rights education project. He’s been able to claim stolen wages for victims. We’re still gathering information and trying to find out why exactly ICE was targeting Francisco.”

Aguirre currently has a lawyer and is pursuing a U- Visa. He has three children; two are US citizens and one is a child migrant.

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