LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A father and youth coach detained by ICE on Jan. 11 is back at home with his family in Sylmar.
Raymond Torres, 30, was released on bond overnight.
Immigration officials detained him when he was dropping his young son off at school.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez has reaction to the man’s release.
Tonight, Torres was spending private time with his family. On most weekends, his family said you would find him in the park, volunteer coaching kids playing youth football.
Moments after his emotional release, in fact, he gave a shout out to his team saying “We’ll be back in action.”
Whether he’s back in action, of course, depends on whether or not he is allowed to stay in the U.S.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” he said trying to reassure his family.
When he walked out of the federal detention center, he first had thanks to give.
“Oh my God, thank you so much.”
Torres doesn’t know how much time he and his family will have to spend together. For the moment, he wasn’t focused on that. He was just happy to be back with them.
“I’m very, very happy to be back with my family,” he said.
He spent 16 days in custody and relief will be fleeting if he is deported. Torres came to the U.S. when he was just 2-years-old.
His family believes Torres was targeted because he got a DUI more than a decade ago and a marijuana possession charge when he was a teen. His attorney calls that criminal history “minimal.”
“His demonstrated behavior over a period of many years, coaching kids, having other parents trust him, has made everyone known to him that he can earn their respect and that he is somebody that is of value to the community,” says attorney Erika Ramon.
On Saturday, Torres’ mother spoke for the family. She spoke in Spanish.
“Si, estoy preocupada todavía,” said Rosa Isela Meza.
Yes, she’s still worried that her son might still be deported. But she’s trusting God — and the government — that Raymond will be allowed to stay.
“I feel relieved to be back with my family, they need me in their sight,” Torres said.
Torres’ mom said Mexico would literally be foreign to her son. He doesn’t know the place, he won’t know anyone there and his Spanish is broken, at best. It would be for him a very difficult move, she said. And she told Perez, that if her son is sent there, should would go with him.