Fernando Carillo was arrested last fall when he dropped his youngest daughter off at day care in San Jose.
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Since then, his family and immigrant right advocates have been working tirelessly to get him released from a detention center in Richmond.
An unexpected ruling from the judge - that he should not be deported because it would not be safe for him to return to Mexico - means Carrillo is now free and allowed to stay. The government did not appeal his release.
A rally was held at ICE headquarters in San Francisco Monday morning to celebrate as Carillo walked out as a free man.
Fernando Carillo was detained by ICE last fall after dropping his daughter off at day care. Today the #SanJose father was released. Here's a look at the touching moment when he reunited with his family after spending months in jail. https://t.co/lGm9A5dRuh pic.twitter.com/B7HOzn5Zid— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) April 2, 2018
His family wants to thank community members and everyone else who helped get him home.
When asked what he'll do when gets home, Carillo said with a laugh, "I want to take a shower, a real shower." He went on to say, "I'm going to put on my PJs, I'm going to have something to eat, and I'm just going to rest and just enjoy my family."
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His wife Lourdes Barraza added, "Six months without our girls being able to hold his hand, hug their dad. You know, it's funny, when you don't realize how important holding someone's hand, your loved one's hand or just giving someone a hug, how important that can be."
Barraza told ABC7 News that the first thing they plan to do as a family is go to church. She also says their work is not done. They plan to be advocates for other families whose loved ones have been detained or deported.
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Fernando Carrillo's wife & daughters just entered ICE headquarters in #SanFrancisco. They say he should be released within the hour. The first thing they plan to do together? Go to church. pic.twitter.com/BLZQhy1SJJ— Elissa Harrington (@ElissaABC7) April 2, 2018
#SanJose man detained by #ICE and who was facing deportation is expected to be released today. Wife: "I am relieved today to know that we can live freely without fear, as we deserve.” pic.twitter.com/CkMAmHOcqP— Elissa Harrington (@ElissaABC7) April 2, 2018