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Immigrant activist who took sanctuary in Oregon church arrested at courthouse

Francisco Aguirre - a community activist who first came to the U.S. from El Salvador two decades ago - poses for a photo on Sept. 24, 2014, in the church where he has taken refuge nearly a week ago to avoid deportation. Aguirre, who has two U.S. citizen children, is facing removal to his native country due to an old drug trafficking conviction and a previous deportation. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

Francisco Aguirre - a community activist who first came to the U.S. from El Salvador two decades ago - poses for a photo on Sept. 24, 2014, in the church where he has taken refuge nearly a week ago to avoid deportation. Aguirre, who has two U.S. citizen children, is facing removal to his native country due to an old drug trafficking conviction and a previous deportation. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

An immigrant activist who took refuge at an Oregon church more than a month ago to avoid deportation has been arrested on federal charges of illegal re-entry.

Francisco Aguirre, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador nearly two decades ago, was arrested at the Clackamas County Circuit Court on Thursday. He was there to settle a DUI case.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Aguirre to El Salvador in 2000 after a drug conviction. He then unlawfully re-entered the country.

Aguirre came to the attention of authorities in August after a DUI arrest. Records show the 35-year-old was indicted by a grand jury in September.

Aguirre is among those who have taken sanctuary in U.S. churches in recent years, as immigration reform has stalled, because authorities generally don't make arrests in sensitive locations.

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