A Mt. Holly mother gave birth to her sixth child Thursday morning, then appeared at her deportation hearing just a few hours later.
Isaide Serrano, 39, won her cancellation of removal – that means she will be allowed to stay in the United States.
Tearful family and friends surrounded Serrano as she gingerly walked out of court.
Wiping away tears, her daughter Cinthya Serrano said "we're all really happy".
Serrano now has six children who are U.S. citizens, but she came to the country illegally as a 19-year-old.
The government now has 30 days to appeal the decision.
Serrano's lawyer says "the judge determined there was the required amount of hardship to grant the case".
Attorney Chris Greene says the hardship "was her children. One of her children has a medical condition that requires surgery. In the aggregate the Judge determined that that was exceptional, extremely unusual - which is required in these cases".
If the government does not appeal, Serrano will have permanent resident status and receive a green card in the mail.
Serrano gave birth to a boy at 5:08 a.m. and had to be medically cleared to appear at her hearing in U.S. Immigration Court just four hours later.
During an interview in her hospital room at Caromont Health Gaston Memorial Hospital - and through a hospital interpreter - Serrano said she was in a lot pain and could barely walk after delivering baby boy, Jayden.
She was due in court at 10a - but at 8:30a she couldn't change her clothes. Serrano says the nurses helped her get ready.
Serrano says while the post delivery pains were tough, nothing compared to the agony of leaving her newborn. "It was difficult because I couldn't have my baby with me", she said.
Serrano made it to Immigration Court in Charlotte on time. She says the last two years of waiting for a final decision about deportation were "very hard". And heading into court "she was thinking about what was going to happen".
Attorney Greene says the case was very close. "For this judge - he was right on the fence and I think what really tipped him over the edge was her and her presence here today in spite of giving birth hours ago. That was very impressive to him".
After her appearance before the Immigration Judge, Serrano had to go the Immigration office to present the judge's ruling. Then it was back to the hospital - where doctors and nurses are monitoring her and her newborn.
Serrano says "she feels very happy about the decision the judge made and because now she's back again with her son and other children".
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