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North Texas Man Slated For Deportation Gets To Stay In U.S. A Little Longer

Stella M. Chávez
Rodrigo Ruiz and his attorney, Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, stand outside the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A North Texas man, who has a severely disabled son, won’t have to leave the U.S. for Peru this week. On Tuesday, immigration officials granted a request by the man’s attorneys to stay in the U.S. a few more months.

Rodrigo Ruiz came to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa in 2005 and overstayed. In 2010, a federal judge ordered him to return to Peru.

In a statement, an ICE spokesman said starting in 2010, the agency granted Ruiz seven one-year stays of removal on humanitarian grounds.

Ruiz’s oldest son, Adrian, has cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and relies on a feeding tube.

“This man works three jobs to be able to have insurance to cover the medical costs,” said George Rodriguez, one of Ruiz’s attorneys. “His wife isn’t able to work because she’s there taking care of Adrian, so his income helps support his family, but more importantly, it’s what keeps Adrian alive.”

Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News
Supporters of Rodrigo Ruiz, including members of Raices Texas, turned out for a rally in front of ICE's Dallas office.

Ruiz’s other immigration attorney, Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, said an application for a stay of removal for her client was submitted in February. But a few weeks ago, that request was denied. He had been ordered to leave the country by this Friday.

On Tuesday, however, Saenz-Rodriguez submitted a new request for Ruiz to temporarily stay. That request was granted.

“He said he was going to take a look at it,” Saenz-Rodriguez said, describing what an immigration official told her. “He gave us three months before he [Ruiz] has to come again back to report, so basically for us, it’s a three-month extension of his time here.”

Ruiz can stay until mid-September and said he’s relieved his attorneys have more time to work on his case.

“What happened is a good thing,” Ruiz said. “I think it’s a victory for me, for my family, for Adrian actually.”

Ruiz said he hopes he can stay with his family in the U.S. permanently.

Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News
Members of Raices Texas showed their support for Rodrigo Ruiz on Tuesday. They held signs and stood outside the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.