SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Nearly six months after a San Jose man was picked up by ICE agents outside his daughter's day care, he was released from ICE custody Monday morning.
Fernando Carillo got a chance to meet and thank the supporters who held numerous rallies in front of ICE headquarters over the past six months. He held his young daughter as he spoke to the media.
“I can not describe it in words. I’m just so excited, I don’t believe it yet. I feel like I’m gonna wake up and it’s not gonna be real,” said Fernando Carrillo, while holding his youngest daughter in his arms.
Carillo said he is looking forward to going back to work on Tuesday. He said he couldn't wait to get home today to take a shower, put on pajamas and have a bit to eat.
Carrillo was released from ICE custody and was reunited with his wife and three daughters, and all of their supporters.
Carrillo was dropping off his 4-year-old daughter at day care when he was detained by immigration and customs enforcement agents.
ICE representatives say Carrillo had been on their radar because he had been deported previously and had a DUI conviction.
After months of community rallies and court hearings, a federal judge agreed he would be in danger if he were sent back to Mexico. That means he can stay in the U.S. legally with certain conditions.
"We are beyond excited. We're very religious and for us, this is just a miracle. God granted the miracle we had asked for for six months," said his wife Lourdes Barraza.
Carrillo's wife says their first stop once the family is reunited is to go to church to pray and give thanks. Their second stop will be to pick up Carrillo's favorite food - tacos.
“I’m looking forward to shedding light on what is going on in our communities. I think Fernando’s first-hand experience is the only experience that we can use to make change in our community,” said Barraza.
Carrillo's family in Mexico has ties to law enforcement in that country making his return to Mexico a dangerous proposition. According to Carrillo's attorney, that's part of the reason the federal judge in this case agreed to release him and allow him to stay in the U.S.
As a condition of his release, Carrillo cannot apply to become a U.S. Citizen and he can never leave the U.S.
KTVU reached out to representatives with ICE to get reaction to Monday’s release, but did not hear back. As for the Carrillo family, they’re enjoying a celebration and dinner with close family and friends, before beginning work to shed light on the plight of other detainees.