Man released from detention center; new documented US citizen


LUMPKIN, Ga. — After being in custody at the Stewart County Detention Center since Easter, Jose Gonzalez Ochoa is now out on bond.

He says he’s no longer considered undocumented, this mean he’s free to live in the US. Gonzalez was overwhelmed with joy. He mentioned, Tuesday’s leave was bittersweet.

“All my friends are still there’s not easy being in there,” says Gonzalez.

Jose Gonzalez spoke to News 3 Tuesday afternoon, in the rain, just outside of the Stewart County Detention Center, where he was released, but not even the rain, could put a damper on his mood.

“I’m eligible but that doesn’t mean they approve it yet cuz I think they have a certain amount of people that they give U-visa every year,” says Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says the judge is still working on U-Visa cases that date back to 2014. Despite this, Gonzalez was still pleased with Tuesday’s outcome.

“My legal status is stable. He’s not undocumented any more,” says Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says he’s looking forward to the future.

“This is perfect this is good enough for me. It’s amazing because I can go to school, I can work, I can have a driver’s license. It’s amazing..what can I ask for? ” says Gonzalez.

Marta Lopez traveled to Atlanta to pay her boyfriend’s $3,000 bond. She says $2,500 was raised through a GoFundMe account. She too was overcome with joy.

“Happiest day of my life I don’t think I was this happy when I graduated high school honestly,” says Lopez.

Gonzalez says he’s appreciative of the many people who supported him, including his girlfriend.

“How do I feel about Marta? So amazing…I just cannot believe that I’m with Marta. I mean…I was talking to her on the phone and sometimes I was crying and she was like please don’t cry..this is gonna pass. Just something that has to happen and good will come out of this,” says Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says there were thousands of undocumented people in the detention center. He says he and his girlfriend will now work to help get some of them released. He also says, he couldn’t have gotten through this without his tremendous level of support and his faith in god.

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