An undocumented immigrant who has been living in sanctuary with his wife and son at Southside Presbyterian Church since May 13 has received a stay in his deportation case.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz can now safely leave the church grounds and return to his Tucson home.

Attorney Margo Cowan said she received word from immigration officials today that he’d been granted a year-long stay, which can be renewed. His request for a stay had been rejected twice before.

Now, Neyoy Ruiz has a permit that he will carry to show he is legally allowed to be in the country.

“I just began to cry,” Neyoy Ruiz said Monday afternoon. “And I hugged everyone who is here at the church. I can leave at any time. I have some things I need to finish at the church, but I feel completely secure to go, to leave.”

Cowan said Neyoy Ruiz represents the thousands of immigrants who are in the United States without legal status. Neyoy Ruiz and his wife Karla came to the U.S. in 2000 and have an American-born son who is 13.

His deportation case began in 2011 after highway patrol pulled him over because his exhaust pipe was emitting too much smoke. Law enforcement called immigration officials after he could not show he was in the country legally.

“It’s fantastic, it’s just wonderful. It’s a larger story because Daniel is every man,” Cowan said. “He makes us think of the fathers who left because they didn’t know what else to do, the fathers who are in hiding. He makes us think of the children who wonder every night if their father is coming home.”