Child pleas to Pope for father’s release from detention center

By Michelle Kapusta,

A 10-year-old girl whose father was in an immigration detention facility while facing deportation, went to Pope Francis and asked him to tell President Barack Obama her story.

According to the Associated Press, little Jersey Vargas traveled to Rome to urge the Vatican to speak with President Barack Obama on immigration reform and to lobby for her father, Mario Vargas’ release. The girl went with a group that represents American children of immigrant parents afraid that their families will be separated and divided by deportation.

The Pontiff promised the girl that he would bring the topic up to President Obama when the two met on Thursday.

The New York Daily News noted that Vargas’ father was in fact freed from a Louisiana detention center after posting a $5,000 bond. A relative who saw the girl pleading with the Pope on television gave the family the funds.

Immigration lawyer Alex Galvez said that a judge agreed to release Vargas' father, pending a later review of his DUI case, if the family was able to post the bond.

On Sunday, the family will be reunited for the first time in two years.

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