/ Modified jun 10, 2014 10:33 a.m.

Man Claiming Sanctuary Gets One-Year Deportation Reprieve

In South Side Tucson church for last month, he is told government won't seek to oust him for now.


A Mexican immigrant in the country illegally learned Monday he will not be deported for at least one year.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, said the Department of Homeland Security notified him he had been granted a one-year stay in the United States.

The news brought tears of joy to Ruiz, his wife and teenage son inside Southside Presbyterian Church, where they have been living since May 13.

Ruiz was ordered to turn himself in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for voluntary deportation after he was identified as being in the U.S. illegally in a traffic stop three years ago.

Instead he took sanctuary at the church, saying he has lived in Tucson for 14 years, has a job and no criminal record. He had asked for his case to be closed.

He received a letter Monday from immigration officials saying his request to stay had been granted for one year.

Southside Presbyterian was the original church to offer sanctuary to Central American immigrants fleeing civil wars in several countries in the early 1980s. A network of sanctuary churches was established across the country after that. Until Ruiz last month, Southside has not offered anyone sanctuary since then.

Read about the day Neyoy Ruiz arrived at the church

Read about Immigration and Customs Enforcement's initial reaction

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