DENVER — An undocumented immigrant who was facing deportation will have the chance to see his daughter graduate from high school Monday.
In 2014, Arturo Hernandez Garcia sought sanctuary in a Colorado church while fighting deportation. He had stayed in the church for nine months.
In 2015, he received a letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that said he wasn’t a priority for enforcement. So he left the church and returned to his home in Denver with his wife and kids.
In April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found Hernandez outside his workplace and took him into custody, to the surprise of his family and activists.
Officials said he was detained after of a final order of removal was issued by a judge.
“Hernandez Garcia has overstayed his original six-month visa by nearly 14 years,” ICE said in a statement. “He has exhausted his petitions through the immigration courts and through ICE.”
However, Hernandez Garcia was granted a brief reprieve from ICE detention in order to attend his daughter’s graduation from Northglenn High School on Monday.
Then, last week, Hernandez Garcia was granted a stay of removal for another two years.
“We have been working closely with them on their cases — coordinating with their lawyers, and we introduced private bills for each in the Senate,” Sen. Michael Bennet said.
“I want to thank my lawyer, Congressman (Ed) Perlmutter and Senator Bennet for their efforts on my behalf,” Hernandez Garcia said in a statement.
Hernandez Garcia and Vizguerra will be allowed to stay in the country until at least 2019.