An Arizona father, on the verge of deportation, was overwhelmed with emotion Friday when he heard the news about President Barack Obama's new immigration policy.
Pedro Gutierrez, 24, is an illegal immigrant who grew up in Arizona, but was going to be deported after getting pulled over for a speeding ticket.
Federal immigration officials recently granted him a one year extension, but now it looks like Gutierrez can stay much longer.
"I want the American dream just like anyone else," Gutierrez said. "I want to raise my family here, watch my little girl grow up and go to school. I want her to have a life with her father in it."
The Arizona City dad is like thousands of young, illegal immigrants across the country who came to America as a young child, brought here by a parent or grandparent.
"I really consider myself an American," Gutierrez said. "I've been here, pretty much my whole life, and I had no choice but to come here. I've been through the education system and if I went back to Mexico I'd having nothing left. I have no family there. My family is here. I'm about as American as anyone else."
Because of his immigration status, Gutierrez has been unable to get a real job after high school or join the military, leaving him in limbo on his fate and future.
But all that changed Friday, when the President announced a major change in U.S. immigration policy.
Anyone under the age of 30, brought to this country before the age of 16, can get a two-year deferral on deportation and is eligible to apply for work authorization.
"I was so excited. My heart just started beating like crazy," Gutierrez said. "I could not stop smiling. I just wanted to cry, but I had to hold my tears in front of my kids. I was just happy, just overwhelmed with happiness."
Gutierrez said that he has always wanted to be a U.S. Marine, but couldn't apply because of his undocumented status.
Gutierrez is hoping to sign up soon.
Copyright KPHO 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:17 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:17:53 GMT
Woman escapes attempted abduction
A Scottsdale jogger fought off a would-be kidnapper who attempted to pull her into his car, Scottsdale police. The 19-year-old woman was jogging in the 10800 block of E. Dynamite Tuesday night and passedMore >
The 19-year-old woman was jogging in the 10800 block of E. Dynamite Tuesday night and passed a car stopped on the shoulder, Scottsdale police said.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:20 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:20:54 GMT
Amy's Baking Company
Amy's Baking Company said legal and online threats have forced it to cancel a press conference Tuesday, but that it's grand reopening will take place as planned. Owners of the Scottsdale bakery, Amy andMore >
Owners of the Scottsdale bakery decided to pull the plug on a 1 p.m. news briefing Tuesday after getting a letter from a litigation law firm representing a company that produces the TV show Kitchen Nightmares. More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:43 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:43:10 GMT
Saturday night's Powerball drawing
Two $1 million Powerball second-prize winning tickets were sold in Arizona from Saturday night's record-breaking jackpot. The winning tickets, which matched five out of five numbers drawn, not includingMore >
A Phoenix woman has come forward to collect her $1 million Powerball prize and says she's planning to go on a family vacation and invest the rest of her winnings.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 03:07:04 GMT
Kirk Nurmi (Source: CBS 5 News)
Jodi Arias' attorney Kirk Nurmi has asked to withdraw from the case on two occasions. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisor's meeting on Wednesday is expected to include a vote to approve $200,000 beMore >
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisor's meeting on Wednesday is expected to include a vote to approve $200,000 be moved to help pay for defense attorney Kirk Nurmi's salary.More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:04:13 GMT
(Source: Fox 29/myfoxphilly.com)
A Utah mom found a unique punishment for her daughter after finding out she was bullying a classmate. Myfoxphilly.com reports that Kaylee, 10, was teasing another student about her clothes so much thatMore >
A Utah mom found a unique punishment for her daughter after finding out she was bullying a classmate.More >