Woman who faced deportation after talking to media has been released

Last Updated Mar 10, 2017 3:25 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. -- Daniela Vargas, an undocumented “DREAMer” who was detained and faced deportation after speaking to the media, has been released from federal custody in Louisiana, her lawyers said.

The 22-year-old immigration rights activist was arrested shortly after speaking at a press conference on March 1 about her father and brother, both of whom were arrested on Feb. 15 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Vargas faced deportation without a hearing, and her attorneys filed a petition in federal court demanding her release on Monday.

On a conference call Friday afternoon, attorneys for Vargas said she had been released and was on her way back to Jackson, Mississippi.

Vargas’ legal team said the “order of supervision” under which she was released remains in place, in addition to an outstanding removal order. Her attorneys cautioned that the removal order, which they are asking to be withdrawn, can still be enforced at any point.

Vargas had been shielded from deportation under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, under which about 750,000 DREAMers are allowed to remain in the country. But Vargas failed to renew her status at the end of the mandated two-year period in November. She reapplied in February but her application was still pending when she was arrested.

Vargas’ case raised fears among DREAMers that President Trump would end the DACA program and subject longtime undocumented residents to deportation. The administration has declined to answer whether it plans to terminate the program, which Mr. Trump said he would do immediately upon taking office.

“We’re gonna show great heart, DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference in February. “To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.”