U.S. immigration authorities have deported a Mexican illegal immigrant who took refuge in a church for a year to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son.

The pastor of the church, Reverend Walter Coleman, says Elvira Arellano was deported to the Mexican border city of Tijuana late Sunday.

Police arrested the 32-year-old activist earlier Sunday in Los Angeles after she spoke at a rally in support of illegal immigrant rights.

Arellano claimed sanctuary in a Chicago church in August last year with her eight-year-old son, who is a U.S. citizen. She had refused to surrender to authorities who convicted her in 2002 of working in the city illegally.

Arellano had not left the church until she decided to travel to Los Angeles to address Sunday's rally.

The church pastor says Arellano will continue her campaign from Mexico against the separation of illegal immigrants from their family members.

The eight-year-old boy will remain in the United States with the pastor's family.

Some information for this report was provided by  AP.