Illegal Immigrant Who Hid in Church Allowed to Stay in US

An illegal immigrant from Mexico, who violated an order to leave the U.S., will be allowed to stay in the country after he took refuge in an Arizona church. 

In May Breitbart Texas reported on 36-year-old Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, who has lived in the U.S. illegally for over a decade. Aside from his unlawful entry into the U.S. in 2000, Ruiz has no apparent criminal history. He has a 13-year-old son, who is an American citizen, according to the Tucson Sentinel

Authorities discovered that the Mexican national was in the country illegally when in 2011, he was pulled over for a traffic stop in Arizona. 

After losing a series of court cases, Ruiz was ordered to leave the country. But rather than go back to Mexico, Ruiz took sanctuary inside Southside Presbyterian Church on May 13 and claimed he would remain in the church with his family until officials close his case. Ruiz's son continued to attend school during the time the family stays at Southside Presbyterian.

According to the Chicago Tribune, federal officials announced on Tuesday that Ruiz can remain in the U.S.

Reports state that immigration officials notified Ruiz on Monday that he will be granted a one-year stay that can be renewed each year. He is also being given a work permit. 

"I cried out of happiness and we hugged each other knowing that this was done," Ruiz reportedly said upon hearing the news. 

Margo Cowan, Ruiz's attorney told the Chicago Tribune that authorities are deciding to focus their energy and effort on deporting illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime. While Cowan sees Ruiz's renewable one-year stay as a victory, she said more work needs to be done. "Daniel's case is not exceptional, and the fact that he was never granted prosecutorial discretion and then later denied a stay of removal should be reviewed by immigration officials," she said. 

But not everyone shares Cowan's view. 

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told the Chicago Tribune, "While law enforcement agencies should prioritize cases, there's no reason that a deportation order shouldn't be enforced."

Ruiz's case certainly highlights inconsistencies in the federal government's approach to immigration enforcement.

If the federal government is going to give amnesty to any illegal immigrant one would think it should be offered to someone like Ruiz--rather than convicted felon illegal immigrants, 36,000 of whom were set free on U.S. soil in 2013. 

However, hiding in churches to avoid deportation is at risk of becoming highly abused by individuals in the U.S. illegally. The fact that an illegal immigrant can avoid enforcement of federal law by taking refuge in a church sets a debatable precedent for immigration enforcement. 

Last year Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby exposed "amnesty shelters" around Texas, where law enforcement officers were ordered to stand down. "In my own experiences helping human trafficking victims, both with the FBI and in private efforts as a citizen, I began to see a trend in often left-of-center open-borders advocates attempting to exploit our nation's aid for human trafficking victims to present any and all illegal immigrants they helped as being 'human trafficking victims,'" Darby wrote. "Such efforts are increasing, and many of the open borders groups who have an exemption from U.S. laws are using 'asylum' and 'human trafficking victim' as a means of achieving backdoor amnesty."

Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinBTate


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