A New Mexico man who saved a little girl from abduction has revealed that he is, in fact, an illegal immigrant in this country.

Antonio Diaz Chacon, 23, is married to an American woman and was trying to become legalized, but the process was difficult and expensive, so he dropped the effort, the Associated Press reported.

As exceptional as his story is, it points to the fact that most undocumented immigrants living in the United States are not criminals, Christina Parker, a spokeswoman for Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, Texas told the AP. He's more than not a criminal now. He's a hero.

Chacon came to fame on Monday when he stopped a would-be kidnapper. He had gone to a relative's house to do his laundry when he witnessed a man toss a 6-year-old girl into a van on the same street.

The way he grabbed her and threw her into the van, I knew it wasn't right, he told the AP.

Chacon got into his pickup and chased the van while his wife called 911. The would-be kidnapper, Philip Garcia, soon crashed into a telephone pole. He tried to escape but was caught by police. The little girl was unharmed and returned to her family.

Chacon will be honored by Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry on Friday, the AP reported.

Today's proclamation for Mr. Diaz Chacon is to celebrate the heroic actions that he demonstrated when he saved the life of a 6-year-old girl in danger, Berry spokesperson Chris Ramirez said in a statement. Mayor Berry is proud of Mr. Diaz Chacon's actions and joins the community in honoring his heroism.