TROY, Mich. – Christmas has come early for a Troy mother who a year ago was on the verge of being deported.
President Barack Obama's executive actions last month will extend deportation relief and work permits to some 4 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mostly those who have been in the country more than five years and have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. That translates to what Cile Precetaj is calling her miracle.
"I wouldn't be here without this decision that Mr. President Obama made. This is a miracle," the mother of three said. "I was afraid even to take my kids to the school. Are they going to arrest me after I drop off my kids?"
Local 4 News first reported on Precetaj in December 2013, when she pleaded with U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials to let her stay after having built a life in the U.S. for more than a decade. Precetaj's husband, Pjetero Gojcevic, said his wife came to the U.S. to escape an abusive and violent culture.
Previous story: Troy mother defies deportation order
Precetaj was given a one-year deportation stay. Her case was reviewed this week, and she can stay.
"I'm trying just to calm down and be like my neighbors, to live my life normal, to raise my kids, to educate my kids the way my neighbors do," Precetaj said.