- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An illegal immigrant from Mexico who ran into a church in Arizona to keep from being deported is going to be allowed to stay in America, a federal immigration officer said.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, has been living and raising a family in the United States for more than a decade. In May, he was ordered to report to a local immigration office and face voluntary deportation. Instead, he ran into a Tucson church with a reputation for sheltering illegals, staying there for the next month, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, immigration officers told him that he has been granted a one-year stay — with the option to renew that stay each year. The allowance also comes with a work permit, Reuters reported.

“I cried,” Mr. Neyoy Ruiz said after learning of the decision. “I cried out of happiness and [my family and I] hugged each other knowing that this was done.”

Mr. Neyoy Ruiz’s son is a teenager and a legal U.S. citizen. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said he’s never committed a crime and the agency was more interested in focusing its efforts on illegal border crossers.

But immigration watchers say the reversal on the deportation order is a bad decision.

“While law enforcement agencies should prioritize cases, there’s no reason that a deportation order shouldn’t be enforced,” said Ira Mehiman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, according to Reuters.&