UIC Student Gets One-Year Stay

Rigo Padilla was within days of deportation

By Lora LeSage
|  Thursday, Dec 10, 2009  |  Updated 4:37 PM CDT
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Rigo Padilla, who was scheduled for deporation next week, will be allowed to stay in the United States for another year.

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Rigo Padilla got the break he wanted Thursday.

The  21-year-old undocumented UIC student has been allowed to stay in the United States for another year after family, friends and even the Chicago City Council began a lobbying movement to the Obama administration to keep him here.

"It's official," Padilla told the Chicago Tribune after he and his attorney met with immigration officials. Officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement haven't confirmed the decision that comes just days before his scheduled Dec. 16 deportation to Mexico.

"I thank the Obama administration for giving me another chance to show my full potential and contribute more to the country I call home," Padilla said in a new release. "I also thank Congresswoman (Jan) Schakowsky and the congressmen that believed in me and all the people and youth that were with me during these tough times."

Authorities discovered the immigration status of Padilla, who has been in the United States since he was 6, when he was arrested for drinking and driving earlier this year.

Supporters, including the Chicago City Council and Congresswman Jan Schakowsky, made requests for leniency from the Obama administration

Today's decision by OCE offiicials allowed Padilla to return his focus to finals week.

"I have two more papers to turn in," he told the Tribune. "My teachers are going to kill me if I don't."

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