Vigil held for immigrant community leader

07/21/2014 4:29 PM

07/21/2014 9:54 PM

Members of Charlotte’s Latin American community held a vigil Monday at Caldwell Presbyterian Church near uptown, seeking the release of a Latin American Coalition staff member who was arrested earlier in the day and now faces deportation.

Coalition officials say Rausel Arista was attempting to fly back to Charlotte on Monday from Buffalo, N.Y., after visiting friends. Arista, who has lived in the Charlotte area 15 years, was reportedly stopped by a Transportation Security Administration official, questioned by Border Patrol agents and arrested for flying while undocumented.

The father of two is currently in a detention facility in Buffalo and facing deportation proceedings, coalition officials said. A native of Mexico, Arista has been a community organizer for immigration reform and against deportations at the Latin American Coalition since 2012. Mark Price

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