A journalist who was arrested during a protest in Memphis on an immigration charge has been released from prison -- more than a year after the incident.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, journalist Manuel Duran's family posted bond for him in Memphis Thursday morning.
Duran was released from the Alabama Detention Center around 3:30 p.m. His family is headed to Alabama to pick him up.
The SPLC provided a statement from Duran moments after his release in Alabama.
“I feel like I’m reborn,” Duran said. “I am happy for this day. It has been a very difficult time but thanks to God, this is the day I waited for. I am grateful for my team, family, and my community for all the help."
Back in January of 2019, FOX13 reported Duran was denied bond in immigration court.
“We are incredibly pleased that Mr. Duran will finally have his asylum claim heard and may be reunited with his family,” said SPLC Attorney Gracie Willis, “We have long argued that his detention is unjust, unreasonable and a waste of resources. It is especially disturbing that he and so many others are continuing to be held indefinitely in remote immigration jails while the same agencies holding them claim they are overrun and require more jails to be built.
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Duran was arrested while covering a protest about immigrants being detained in April 2018.
Duran had spent months reporting on what he called a joint operation between ICE and Memphis police. In a sworn statement Duran made days after his arrest, he wrote, “I was scared this would bring me immigration problems…”
Duran was charged with disorderly conduct and blocking a passageway or highway. Within hours, his bond was paid and later, his charges were dropped.
But he was not released.
MPD said it does not work with ICE. The public information officer told Duran that in a 2018 text message, which was uncovered by FOX13.
Duran’s legal team said he failed to get notice of his 2007 deportation order, so they filed a motion to reopen his case.
ICE officials also provided a statement following Duran's release:
"ICE will now await the outcome of his removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts to determine any appropriate future action."
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