Obama's immigration reform released father of 3, now home for holidays

FAIRVIEW, N.J. (WABC) -- A man detained a year ago by immigration authorities is now out of jail for the holidays with his family.

The father of three little children is home after being freed from a detention center because of President Obama's executive action giving immigrants a break.

"I'm glad that my dad is here, I'm happy every day," said Christopher, Jose Estrada Lopez's son.

7-year-old Christopher happy to have his father, Jose Estrada Lopez home. It was a long year away from his wife Gloria and his three kids.

"I call every night, we pray with the kids by the phone. I told my wife, have faith. One day I will get out of here," said Jose Estrada Lopez, a Fairview resident.

Lopez was arrested a week before Christmas last year on immigration violations, and could have been deported back to Guatemala. But because Christopher, Joseph and Katherine were born here, Lopez met the criteria for release.

"This process is reuniting families which is what its intended to do. It's nice to see it working very quickly," said Eric Mark, Lopez's attorney.

Jose said the kids were so happy to get him back, that no one wanted to go to bed last night. They talked until 4 in the morning.

"Last night I was crying, I was so happy my dad was free," Christopher said.

A carpenter by trade, Lopez spent time in detention, making ornaments for the tree like shoes made of paper rings and dream catchers made from trash bags.

He was thinking about his family, that he alone supported, locked away last year before he could buy them anything.

"For them, there was no Christmas, no birthdays last year, nothing," Lopez said.

He still has a long process before he's entirely in the clear.

But for now, being home with his kids this holiday is enough.
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