A Mexican journalist has been released from U.S. detention in El Paso. 55-year-old Emilio Gutierrez Soto, an award winning Mexican journalist, was detained in December along with his 25-year-old son.

They were both arrested at a routine check-in with immigration officials at a center in El Paso. The pair had been living in the U.S. while an asylum request was still in the appeal process. It’s unclear why the two were detained for so long without legitimate cause.

Soto had made a name for himself in Mexico for reporting on cartel crime and government corruption, so much so that he began receiving death threats in 2008. Soto and his son sought asylum in the U.S. but were denied a second time in 2017. Soto has also been an outspoken activist against U.S. immigration policies.

The father and son were released Thursday, July 26, and the Board of Immigration Appeals has granted the pair a new asylum hearing, scheduled to be held in August.

The release came just one day before a court-appointed deadline for the Department of Homeland Security to release information related to why the reporter and his son were detained in the first place, raising suspicions for some that the detainment may have been politically motivated.