Jose Gutierrez Guzman has been granted a temporary pass to stay in America and will likely be transferred to a California facility this week, following rallies protesting his impending deportation at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. He is no longer in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Gutierrez has been in a coma since an incident in late March, when border patrol agents used a taser to subdue him at the San Luis point of entry in Arizona. A longtime L.A. resident, Gutierrez had been deported on March 21 and was apparently attempting to re-enter the country to reunite with his family.
According to the Los Angeles Weekly, Gutierrez was slated to be deported and border patrol was ready to have him transferred to Cima Hospital in Hermosillo, Mexico, despite the fact that his job offered him COBRA insurance. But his lawyer, Brian Lerner, obtained a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and blocked the deportation.
St. Joseph's Hospital said they are working with Gutierrez's family to transition him to the next level of care, as they are not licensed to provide him with long-term medical care at their facility.
Gutierrez has reportedly been suffering from a mild case of pneumonia and a high temperature while in a coma. Lerner said "a lawsuit will go forward" after Gutierrez is transferred back to California and his condition stabilizes.
"The battle isn't done, we still have a ways ahead of us to fight...But thank God that for now he's out of custody and ready to be transferred to LA," Shena Wilson, Gutierrez's wife, told the LA Times.
The immigrant advocacy groups Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and Puente are being credited for alerting the media and spurring the rallies at St. Joseph's Hospital last week.
In 2007, St. Joseph's hospital transferred Joe Arvisu, a high school student that was being treated for leukemia, to a hospital in Mexico, where he later died.