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José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle

by Sharon Kravitzmurray bush - flux photo

An emotional first step back to his life.
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
With activist Oswaldo Godoy.
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle
With Salvadoran Consul for Vancouver Daisy Bonilla.
Family
Some of the legal paperwork used to fight the deportation order.
The church that gave José sanctuary
José Figueroa steps out after winning deportation battle

WALNUT GROVE, BC - Salvadoran Canadian José Figueroa is at home in Langley, British Columbia for the first time in two years.

Canadian Border Services finally dropped its demand that the refugee return to El Salvador because he once belonged to the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN) in the fight against a vicious US-backed military regime.  Figueroa took sanctuary in the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church when his deportation seemed imminent.  He had been fighting the demand that he return to El Salvador for nearly 20 years.

José and his lawyer say negotiations to drop the persecution of the father of three started to take a turn for the better following the October federal election.

Friends, family and the members of the church were all on hand today to watch José take a step outside in an emotional and uplifting ceremony. He told assembled supporters that his first act of freedom would be to visit  US army war resister Rodney Watson, who has been in sanctuary at First United Church in the Downtown Eastside for six years.

For more information visit We Are José and see Devin Gillan's video of today's events

PS: It was Jose's birthday today.

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