An evangelical pastor whose nearly two-month detention by immigration officials has drawn the ire of many in his Los Angeles community has been released by authorities.
Noe Carias, an Assemblies of God pastor in Los Angeles who had deportation orders dating back to the mid-1990s, is now free after being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 24.
“After almost two months of legal efforts and sustained support from his family and faith-based community, Noe Carias rejoins his family, community and congregation, to continue fighting his immigration case,” Carias’ lawyer, Noemi Ramirez, wrote in a statement Friday, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Carias is married to a U.S. citizen and has two young children who are citizens.
The NBC affiliate reports that the Guatemalan-native’s release on Friday was the first time in 59 days that he was able to hug his wife and children. A video posted on social media showed the moment the family was reunited.
Carias was first deported from the United States in 1993 when he was a teenager but later returned and ignored a deportation order from 1995 during Bill Clinton’s administration.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Carias had been given two one-year stays in 2015 and 2016. However, the Trump administration denied his third application for a one-year stay and reportedly notified him that he was deportable because of the 1995 deportation order.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith