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Undocumented immigrant using Denver church as sanctuary leaves after nine months

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2014 file photo Francisco Aguirre Velasquez poses for a portrait at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, Ore. Aguirre, an immigrant who took refuge at the church to avoid deportation should be allowed to stay in the U.S. because of a judicial error at a hearing more than a decade ago, his attorney said Monday, July 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2014 file photo Francisco Aguirre Velasquez poses for a portrait at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, Ore. Aguirre, an immigrant who took refuge at the church to avoid deportation should be allowed to stay in the U.S. because of a judicial error at a hearing more than a decade ago, his attorney said Monday, July 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)

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.

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