03/04/2013 08:21:00 AM EST
Prosecutorial Discretion Victory in North Carolina
"A deportation case that started Jan. 11, 2012, was supposed to end in the departure of Flavio Ramos Cruz from the U.S. on Wednesday. But some striking turns of events over the year helped him remain in Lexington, the place he has called home since 2004. Among those events are President Barack Obama’s policy shift on low-priority deportations, the unexpected advocacy provided by a safety net of volunteers and Cruz’s severe injury in a car accident. It all led up to last week’s decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to close Cruz’s immigration case. ... As a low-priority immigrant with a medical condition (colostomy bag), Cruz was able to get his case closed through the pro bono work of a Winston-Salem lawyer, Helen Parsonage, who was recommended by one of the vigil organizers. Now, he said, Cruz doesn’t have to worry about seeking possible follow-up care in Mexico for his colostomy surgery." - Winston-Salem Journal, Mar. 3, 2013.