The mother of NFL player Neville Hewitt has been released from immigration detention after she was locked up after flying from Jamaica to Atlanta for an immigration hearing.
Deon Jones, the mother of the Huston Texans linebacker, was allegedly escorted off a plane in handcuffs and a waist chain by and ICE officer when she landed in the country, The Daily Beast reported.
Now, Ms Jones, 47, has been released from the detention centre she was being held in and was reunited with her son by 8pm on Sunday, the outlet revealed.
Ms Jones came to the US from Jamaica when she was 12 years old, but was ordered to be deported in 2014 after serving years in a Georgia state prison.
She was arrested in 2008 on a state drug trafficking charge after 40 grams of cocaine and marijuana were found in a car in which she was a passenger, the outlet said.
Mr Hewitt was only 14 at the time, only learning of her arrest after a football game at his high school.
In 2017, she was put up for parole but spent another year and a half in a detention centre with conditions so stressful that she agreed to be deported to Jamaica.
Her immigration lawyer, Benjamin Osorio, eventually argued to the appeals court with success that what Georgia deemed drug trafficking in her conviction was not, by federal standards, an “aggravated felony” and should not have mandated a deportation, The Daily Beast wrote.
Mr Osorio, convinced the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to grant his client a new immigration hearing, yet Ms Jones allegedly had to appear in person, reported to the outlet.
According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website, it is possible that a deportee who returns to the US may be detained for “further immigration proceedings,” whether you are subject to mandatory detention under the immigration laws or should be detained because they pose a danger or a flight risk.
Mr Osorio told The Daily Beast that an ICE officer allegedly led him to believe Ms Jones would probably be released on house arrest with an ankle monitor, but instead, she ended up in a detention centre two hours outside of Atlanta.
“This is what’s going on here in our country. And a lot of us, we are just not aware that this is actually taking place,” Mr Hewitt told The Daily Beast. “It’s been going on for years.”
When Mr Hewitt’s mother landed, an ICE officer came aboard and escorted her off the aircraft in handcuffs and a waist chain.
She began to message her son, but her phone was confiscated.
Ms Jones allegedly received no immediate explanation of what was going on.
“I don’t care where you from or who you are, it’ll drive you crazy to know that you’re locked up and you don’t have an idea of why and what’s going on with you,” Mr Hewitt said to the outlet.
“You have no explanation. It’s mind-blowing.”
Ms Jones has now been reunited with her son, as seen in an emotional video posted by the NFL player of his mother’s release.