Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was removed from the U.S. and taken to Mexico at 8:45 p.m., said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox.
Oliver-Bruno was arrested Nov. 23 at an immigration office near Raleigh after he left the church to have his fingerprints taken as part of an application to stay in the U.S. to financially support his son and ailing wife. His application to stay in the U.S. was denied earlier this week. He had been living in the Durham church since late 2017 to avoid immigration officers, who generally don’t make arrests in churches and other sensitive locations.
Since his arrest, dozens have held rallies and organized a campaign to lobby elected officials and the federal government to reverse their decision. Democratic U.S. Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield, both of North Carolina, had urged Homeland Security to release him, calling his treatment unacceptable.