PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland high school senior will stay in the only country he's ever known - for now.
Gustavo Romero-Alvarez was scheduled to be deported to Mexico last week. He was caught trying to steal a shirt from Macy's last year and authorities discovered he was an illegal immigrant.
Alvarez says his family came to the U.S. when he was 7 and he has no memory of Mexico.
On Friday, Alvarez got the news he can stay. His advocate says immigration officials used their discretion to allow him to stay, but he's not in the clear yet.
"It can last for months to years," said Jaime Limon-Guzman with the Northwest Immigrant Youth Alliance. "We know people have been fighting their cases for many, many years. Sometimes up to 10 years."
Alvarez says when he graduates from Centennial High School in June he hopes to become a firefighter. He's not sure how his illegal status will affect that goal.
"The way it is to fight it is little by little," said Alvarez. "That's the only way to take the weight off your back."