“So many people say, 'no, no, no!' Only God said 'yes,'” said Marisol Cervantes after reuniting with her husband outside the San Ysidro border crossing Wednesday night.
“I am so happy. Thank you,” said Enrique Cervantes as he hugged his wife and daughters.
Cervantes, who is undocumented, was on his way to a church retreat in Jamul when he was stopped by the Border Patrol and deported back in April.
His attorney Ginger Jacobs said the removal was legal but unjust, claiming officers failed to give his client Prosecutorial Discretion.
The policy enacted late last year by the Department of Homeland Security gives those living in the country illegally the chance to delay their deportation indefinitely, or gain a Deferred Action Status, if they have family ties and don’t represent a threat to national security.
“I can’t imagine anyone else that has a better case for discretion than Mr. Cervantes,” said Jacobs.
Last week Jacobs and Cervantes’ family turned in hundreds of documents and letters from the community requesting he’d be brought back to the U.S. and granted the discretion they believed he deserved.
Cervantes is a husband and a father with a special needs child.
He’s also part of a ministry at a National City church helping drug addicts with their rehab. But with a previous deportation and a misdemeanor from some 20 years ago on his record, they were told they had no chance.
“His case did not meet the guidelines,” the family was told by a Border Patrol officer outside Border Patrol Headquarters in Chula Vista last week.
But this week federal officials in Washington D.C. heard Cervantes’ case and within days ordered his return.
The decision is highly unusual.
“I am amazed, I’m really grateful, it restores my faith in justice,” said Jacobs.
Cervantes will now get to present his case in front of an immigration judge who will have the final say on whether he will stay in the country or be deported.
Border officials declined to comment on the case.
Critics of President Obama’s position on giving some undocumented immigrants an opportunity to defer their deportations have said cases like that of Enrique Cervantes are the equivalent of amnesty.
The Obama administration denies that claim.