Padilla, the middle child of five, came to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico, with his parents. He graduated high school and is currently a senior at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
In December, Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted a one-year stay on Padilla's deportation after members of the Chicago City Council, students, university professors and religious leaders rallied around Padilla with an intensive campaign to keep him in the country.
Advocates inundated Department of Homeland Security offices with faxes and letters on his behalf, and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., even introduced a private bill to grant Padilla relief.
"ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] uses its discretion on a case-by-case basis, as appropriate, and has the authority to grant a deferral of a removal action based upon the merits of an individual's case and a review of specific facts," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said in a said statement on Padilla's case.
Padilla faces a hearing before an immigration judge on his deferred deportation in December.