Mesa Man Won't Face Deportation For At Least Another Month
April 12, 2017
Matthew Casey
Members of Shadow Rock United Church of Christ pray with Marco Tulio Coss (center) before his regular check-in at Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix. Coss faces deportation but was released and told to return in 30 days.

Faith leaders claimed victory after federal authorities did not deport a Mesa man when he reported for a regular check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the win could be temporary.

A protest planned for outside ICE headquarters on Wednesday turned into a picnic when people heard Marco Tulio Coss will not face deportation for at least 30 more days.

Coss ended up in ICE custody following a 2009 traffic stop in Tempe. He was released under an order of supervision, and has since done regular check-ins.

The Rev. Ken Heintzelman wants ICE to give Coss a new two-year work permit. In the meantime, he said the extra month is a victory. 

“What 30 days means is that there is 30 days that he can be with his family,” Heintzelman said. “And anytime we can win one day where the family doesn’t have to be afraid that their mother or father is deported, that’s a day of grace.”

Coss does have an order of removal. His lawyer, Ravi Arora, plans to use the 30-day-grace period to file a motion to stop deportation. If it’s granted, Coss might be allowed to stay and work

“I get the sense from speaking with the ICE officers that they are sympathetic towards people in Marco’s position,” Arora said.

ICE is bound by the Trump administration’s new immigration enforcement priorities. but agents still have some discretion, Arora said.

An ICE spokeswoman would not say why the agency gave Coss an extra month. She did say release conditions are determined on a case-by-case basis.