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Immigration News

Deportation of Undocumented Mexican Called Off

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cancelled the deportation of an undocumented Mexican who has been living more than 20 years in southern Arizona, officials said Thursday.

Napolitana’s decision came in response to heated demonstrations by the Hispanic community in Arizona, which flooded her office with phone calls, faxes and e-mails asking her to suspend the deportation of Alfonso Morales Macias, scheduled for Friday.

In September 2007, Morales Macias, 40, was arrested by Border Patrol agents in a raid on a shopping mall in Tucson where he was cleaning floors. The father of two U.S.-born children, the immigrant was 19 when he arrived in the United States from the Mexican state of Nayarit.

In all that time he has paid his taxes, is buying his own home and has no criminal record.

“I’m very grateful to Secretary Napolitano who gave me the chance to stay with my family,” Morales Macias told Efe.

The Mexican immigrant was given permission to remain another year in the country, while Morales Macias hopes that immigration reform will be approved during that time. Margot Cowan, the immigrant’s attorney, told Efe that this is just one example of what hundreds of families are suffering every day while the federal government fails to approve a way for them to get legal residence.

“The Morales family has contributed to our community, paid their taxes and are good citizens - like many others, all they want is to see their kids grow up and give them a better life,” Cowan said.