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Man spends a year in U.S. church to avoid deportation and finally walks free.

A Mexican who crossed the United States borders without proper paperwork in 1997 has finally walked free. He lived in a Philadelphia church for nearly a year to avoid deportation to his country.

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Image shows Garcia and his family at the Philadelphia church.

Javier Flores Garcia left the Arch Street Methodist Church on Wednesday (Oct. 11), and was surrounded by his family members who celebrated the “pardon.”

Garcia had been caught and deported several times but he showed resilience in his desire to live and work in the U.S.

According to an AP report, Garcia was stabbed in 2004 and he co-operated with police to apprehend the culprit. The action granted him eligibility for a special type of visa for people who help police.

Garcia’s attorney says his client has been granted deferred action, which allows him to live and work in the country.

The Mexican took sanctuary in the church last November, when he was to report for deportation. He says he plans to stay in Philadelphia.

“Interestingly he is looking to stay here because he cooperated with police. Go figure. The rules and motivations of the government are a bit confused here,” a commenter wrote about the pardon.

“On one hand is the desire to deport at all costs (because Judge Dredd spake “The Law is the Law”), on the other is the desire to encourage people, even illegal aliens to cooperate in the apprehension of violent criminals.”

Another netizen who raised an objection to the help offered by the church in Philadelphia said, “No church should be a haven against accountability to the law. Churches who knowingly provide support to help people avoid accountability to the law should be held accountable.”

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