- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An illegal immigrant, 36, defied a federal order to leave the United States and instead, took cover in a Tucson, Ariz., church, and is now vowing to stay there indefinitely.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, a maintenance supervisor for a Tucson apartment facility, was supposed to head back to Mexico before the close of business on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported. But instead, he ducked into a local church, the Southside Presbyterian, and called for his wife and American-born son to join him at the known sanctuary, AP reported.

Law doesn’t bar authorities from storming the church and taking him into custody, or forcibly putting him across the border. But the church has built a reputation as a sanctuary and safe haven for illegals for the last 30 years, and authorities are hesitant to act, AP said.

“I want to be with my family to support them in everything I can,” he said, in Spanish, AP reported. “I want to have a voice because it’s not just me. There are a lot of people like this.”

Mr. Neyoy Ruiz entered American illegally in 2000. Eleven years later, an Arizona officer pulled him over because his car exhaust pipe was smoking, and he was then turned over to immigration officials and given a deadline date to leave the country. He tried to appeal, but lost all his cases, AP said.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, meanwhile, is reviewing the case, AP reported. But Mr. Neyoy Ruiz said he’s not leaving — no matter what.

“I’m sure that if I don’t do this, it’s going to be worse because I’m going to lose,” he said, AP reported. “I’m not going to throw in the towel.”

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