US & World

Dad freed after girl talks to pope on immigration

Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he holds his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on March 19, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph by saying the saint is a model for all fathers and educators.
Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he holds his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on March 19, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph by saying the saint is a model for all fathers and educators.
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

After a California girl traveled to the Vatican to plead with Pope Francis for help as her father faced deportation, the man was freed on bond from immigration detention.

RELATED: SoCal activists seek pope's aid on immigration reform

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that Mario Vargas was released from custody in Louisiana. A judge will determine if he's deported. ICE says Vargas was arrested last year in Tennessee and convicted of driving under the influence before he was taken into federal custody.

His release came after his 10-year-old daughter Jersey addressed the pope this week as part of a California delegation that traveled to urge the Vatican to prod President Barack Obama on immigration reform.

The girl's mother says a relative who saw the girl on television offered to help put up the rest of the $5,000 bond.