Man facing deportation granted 30-day extension

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX – A local man facing deportation was granted a 30-day extension Tuesday morning.

Pedro Gutierrez, 22, is an illegal immigrant who was brought to Arizona by his grandmother when he was 7 years old. He says life in Arizona is all he knows.

Gutierrez says he left his parents, who according to him were both addicted to drugs and alcohol, in order to have a chance at a better life.

He is now packing all he can into just a few small bags. He says, “I don’t know what to think right now. I’m just trying to focus on today.”

Gutierrez knows these could be his last hours in the United States, which has been his home for the last 15 years.

He is scheduled to be deported Tuesday. “With every passing hour it just hits me more and more and becomes more realistic, gets scarier and scarier.”

Gutierrez is scheduled to appear at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office Tuesday morning where one of two things can happen: His lawyer will request a stay of deportation, which allows Gutierrez to stay a year to build his case. Or, if that petition is denied, he says he will board a bus headed to the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales.

Gutierrez grew up in Casa Grande and attended elementary and high school in the U.S. with dreams of becoming a Marine.

In 2009 he went to jail for a traffic violation which began the process for his deportation.

He says, “It hasn’t been easy but I have no regrets. I’m glad that all this happened, whether it be good or bad I’m just glad that I have an opportunity to be here and experience everything that I have.”

Gutierrez says that if he is allowed to stay, he would like to pursue his dream of joining the Marine Corp, graduate from college and go into law enforcement.