Rodrigo Ruiz came to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Dallas on Tuesday, armed with a Stay of Removal appeal that was about two-inches thick. In it, photos of Ruiz's 24-year-old son, Adrain, who has cerebral palsy.
"For my son," said Ruiz through tears as he explained why he wanted to stay in the United States.
Ruiz came to the United States with his family on a visitor's visa from Peru 14-years ago and overstayed. His attorney said Ruiz works three jobs to have health insurance to care for his oldest son, who has DACA status.
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"When Adrian was born they issued him a death certificate because they did not expect him to live," said George Rodriguez, Ruiz's attorney. "Adrian is 24-years-old because of the medical care that he's able to receive here in the United States. That is key."
Ruiz's attorneys said he had been granted stays for the last eight-years, but this year that changed. They believe the Trump administration's push to deport undocumented immigrants had something to do with it.
"If this is not considered to be an extreme and compelling humanitarian case, I'm not sure what would be," said Ruiz's attorney Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez.
Tuesday afternoon, Ruiz and his attorneys emerged from the ICE office with smiles. Ruiz was granted a three-month extension while his case is considered.
"I'm feeling wonderful," said Ruiz. "I'm feeling fantastic. I'm feeling more peace inside me."
He pointed out there are other families like his, hoping the tide will turn in their favor.
"It's a relief more than anything," said Saenz-Rodriguez. "So we live to fight another day!"