Immigrant activist returns to Mexico after overstaying visa

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts immigrant rights activist detained after he was found to have overstayed his visa has voluntarily agreed to leave the country.

The Pioneer Valley Workers Center in Northampton says Eduardo Samaniego is returning to his native Mexico Friday where he will continue to explore his legal options.

The 26-year-old had been in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody since October and faced deportation. He was arrested in an Atlanta suburb for failing to pay a $27 taxi fare and found to have overstayed a tourist visa from 2009.

Samaniego was a prominent voice in the Massachusetts immigration debate, and supporters held rallies across the country calling for his release. In a statement, he said being in detention took its toll mentally and physically and he wanted to be free.

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