Humboldt Co. woman detained since November set to be released, reunited with family

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A Humboldt County woman who has been detained by immigration officials since November is now set to be released and reunited with her family.

The family says they are celebrating today. But, say with recent events they will continue their work fighting for immigrant families.

More than a dozen family members and supporters of Claudia Portillo journeyed down state from Humboldt County and rallied outside an immigration courthouse in San Francisco on Monday, hoping for her release.%INLINE%

Her daughters say it's been tough living without their mother since November.

"It's been so hard. We had to struggle to pay rent and electricity for a bit, and me and my sisters would literally eat eggs and tortillas for a whole month," said Avigaio Portillo, Claudia Portillo's daughter.%INLINE%

Portillo was brought to the country undocumented when she was just eight years old. Her family and attorney say she's been working to establish her citizenship for years. But, her attorney says after years of work his client may have been caught up in a shift in immigration policy. %INLINE%

"Yeah, I'd say it was a policy change, with the new administration," said immigration attorney, Joseph LaCome. 

Portillo's family and friends filed into the courtroom and learned the judge had set bail at $12,000, more than they had on hand.

But, supporters say a benefactor who'd just inherited some money offered to post bond. So, Portillo could be released from her detention facility in Bakersfield as early as Tuesday.

"I just heard that my mom got a check of $12,000 to get out and...or whatever it's called and so she'll come home tomorrow," said Eliada Portillo, Claudia Portillo's daughter.

Family members say given the current administration's immigration policy and recent headlines about children separated from their parents, their struggle for immigrant rights is far from over.

"This is just one case out of so many in the United States. So, this is a victory for us but there's more work to be done," said Portillo's sister, Jennifer Ventura.

The Department of Homeland Security now has 30 days to appeal the judge's bond decision

Portillo is currently protected from deportation by a temporary stay of removal from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She is applying for a permanent visa and at this point her attorney says he believes it's likely that visa will be granted.