CBS 5 News has learned that an illegal immigrant who grew up in Arizona and dreamed of becoming a U.S. Marine will not be deported Tuesday after all.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reversed its earlier decision and granted Pedro Gutierrez, of Casa Grande, an additional year in the United States, according to Mo Goldman, the attorney for Gutierrez, on Thursday.
ICE confirmed to CBS 5 News that it has granted the reprieve, a move Goldman called "good news."
ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile said the stay of removal for one year was based on humanitarian grounds.
Gutierrez was granted a one-year stay in 2011 after support from numerous activists organizations.
Gutierrez was brought to Arizona by his grandmother when he was 7 years old. After she died, Gutierrez went on to graduate from high school with the support of his community.
Without immigration papers, all he had to count on for his future was the DREAM Act, which lawmakers were unable to pass.
Had the legislation been enacted, Gutierrez would have had the opportunity to attain citizenship once he completed at least two years in the armed forces.
In 2009, a traffic violation - driving without a license - landed him in jail and subsequent ICE investigation.
He was due to be deported January 2011, but the massive outpouring of support helped him gain a 30-day stay, followed by a year-long stay that would have ended next week.
"If I go back to Mexico, I have no home there, I have no family, no friends, nothing," Gutierrez told CBS 5's Donna Rossi. "If I go back, I'll be homeless."
Gutierrez has an 8-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old stepson.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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