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Durham teen released on bond from immigration detention

Posted August 13

Wildin David Guillen Acosta in an undated family photo
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— A Durham teen who has been in U.S. immigration custody for more than six months was released from custody Friday and could soon be home after supporters raised money to post his bond.

Wildin David Guillen Acosta, 19, was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents while on his way to Riverside High School on Jan. 28 as part of an effort to target teenagers who recently crossed into the United States from Mexico. A native of Honduras, Guillen Acosta said he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in 2014 to escape gang violence.

He appeared before an immigration judge in Charlotte when he arrived in the U.S., but he never returned to immigration court for fear of deportation. That failure to appear, however, resulted in a deportation order.

Before being released early Saturday, Guillen Acosta had been in ICE custody in a detention facility in southern Georgia since early February, but a judge this week set a $10,000 bond for his release.

Supporters set up a GoFundMe page and raised the bond money in less than two days.

Guillen Acosta will now face a hearing to continue pursuing an asylum claim with immigration officials, attorney Evelyn Smallwood told WRAL News Wednesday.

Smallwood has argued that Guillen Acosta qualifies for asylum because he was escaping gang violence and didn't have adequate legal representation when he first appeared before the immigration judge.

9 Comments

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  • Susan West Aug 14, 9:23 p.m.
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    I'm a registered Republican, but I have a conscious. Gangs are different here vs there. You have not a clue about this until you've seen it and lived it.

  • Linda Tally Aug 13, 11:03 p.m.
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    Glad he's out of custody, hope he gets the education he is seeking. I've met this kid, he's a much better citizen prospect than a lot of the native born blisters.

  • Ken Ackerman Aug 13, 10:33 p.m.
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    Jesus tell you that personally?

    How would you know if the story about gangs in his home country is a lie or not? Because you don't want to believe it? Because you don't care? Because you assume the absolute worst about everyone?

    Given the way many Americans are acting these days I'm not sure why anyone from the outside would even want to be one of us. Hate has gotten so bad in this country that governments of other counties have started warning their citizens that plan to travel to the US, countries like Canada and England. How long before Amereicans start fleeing the US?

  • Doug Bogard Aug 13, 9:24 p.m.
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    The gangs were not trying to kill him until he was caught and ready to be deported.
    That Susan is just a lie for the bleeding hearts like you. When you say gang infested areas do you mean Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Durham? Gangs are everywhere Susan, not just in your mother in laws country but right here in your country.
    If I am selfish for wanting a better world for our children, so be it. If I am selfish for wanting our Government to protect and uphold the laws of our constitution, so be it.
    My Jesus is fine with following the law, however he is unhappy with you.

  • Susan West Aug 13, 3:20 p.m.
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    A young man flees his country to escape gang violence and was attending a high school so he could receive an education and people actually want him deported? I guess it only works for you if he's picking tomatoes to provide your family with cheap food, and is uneducated and powerless.

    Live in a gang riddled area and get back with me on your stance. My mother-in-law who lives in a foreign country passes by the memorial markers of her son's best friend who had a bullet put in the back of his head along with two other children.

    You selfish, selfish human beings....your Jesus must be ashamed of you.

  • Ken Ackerman Aug 13, 2:29 p.m.
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    Keep in mind that sending him home is a death sentence. He left his country to keep from having to join a criminal gang. So if you believe he should die for that then....

  • Alfred Barnes Aug 13, 10:55 a.m.
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    Grown men attending high school and here illegally. Nothing can go wrong there.

    Let him go to community college and get a GED with other adults.

  • John White Aug 13, 9:54 a.m.
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    Let us see he has already ignored one command is here illegally and now they just release him. Send the criminal back to where he came from. Yes he is a criminal. He came here illegally and already has avoided a judge so he has proven he does not want to follow the law twice now. Ship his butt out of here. He should have been put on a plane a long time ago.

  • Jeffrey Derry Aug 13, 9:20 a.m.
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    He should have been deported. There is an order for his deportation. Hopefully the order will be followed/carried out.