Los Angeles

Pastor Detained During Immigration Appointment Released Nearly 2 Months Later

Noe Carias was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 24, 2017.

A pastor who was detained during an appointment with an immigration officer nearly two months ago has been released, his attorney said Friday.

"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," his attorney, Noemi Ramirez, wrote in a statement.

Carias was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 24, 2017, and remained in ICE detention until Friday.

The pastor was first deported in 1993 after crossing illegally into the United States as a teenager," the Los Angeles Times reported. "The Guatemala native then returned to the U.S. and ignored a second deportation order in 1995."

He "had been granted two one-year stays in January 2015 and April 2016," the Times reported. "Earlier this year, a third stay was denied."

His wife, who is a U.S. citizen, said he has no criminal record, but at his immigration check-in on July 24, "Ramirez said, 'they decided to say he's removable because of his '95 decision,'" reported the Times.

"He's a good man, he's a pastor, he's been a good citizen," Victoria Carias told the Times shortly after he was detained. "He's never done anything wrong. The only thing he did was come here illegally."

The father of two "is a small-business owner and pastor of Assemblies of God church in the Echo Park community of Los Angeles," Ramirez noted in the statement.

Demonstrators demanded his release a day after he was detained, arguing that he, along with other undocumented parents detained, should be reunited with their loved ones. 

"Border patrol is supposed to be working on the border, we're 132 miles away from the border," a woman at the protest said. "They're not supposed to be in our communities, and yet they're coming here and they're terrorizing our communities and that's the reason why we're fighting back."

A news conference was scheduled with Carias and his attorney Friday morning. 

City News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Us