Local News

Durham teen's deportation on hold

Posted March 20, 2016

— Nineteen-year-old Wildin “David” Guillen Acosta got a reprieve early Sunday when ICE Director Sarah Saldaña agreed to delay his planned deportation from the United States until he has exhausted his appeals.

Acosta 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. two years ago, but he never returned to immigration court for fear of deportation.

The 19-year-old’s family said they fear Acosta could be harmed or killed by gangs if he returns to his home country.

"There is no guarantee honestly that he will even be here until Monday," said a family member. "All we have is a word and a promise."

Congressman G.K. Butterfield has taken up his case, and it was his efforts that secured a stay from Saldaña.

“Through the night, I continued my efforts to persuade ICE Director Sarah Saldaña to reconsider her decision to not intervene in the deportation of Wildin Acosta. I was joined in this effort during the night by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-California) who is the ranking Democrat on the Sub-Committee​on on Immigration and Border Security," Butterfield said Sunday.

"On behalf of the Acosta family and their hundreds of friends in Durham, North Carolina, and around the country, I extend my appreciation to the Obama Administration, Director Saldaña, and other senior officials responsible for border security for this most appropriate decision. It will unquestionably result in the protection of Wildin Acosta from further violence in his native country of Honduras. It is my hope that he will be eventually granted asylum in the United States.”

Acosta is being held in a Georgia detention facility, and his family planned a news conference for Sunday evening to ask for his release.

"We cannot call victory until Wildin is free from his jail cell in Georgia and returned to North Carolina and Riverside High School," a family spokesperson said. "Let Wildin pursue his appeal, let him be with his parents and fellow students, let him graduate from Riverside High School."


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  • Steve Clark Mar 21, 2016
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    Shannon, I'm with you 100% on this one. He is NOT a "Durham man" or "Durham teen". He's a "19 yr old man in Durham illegally". If you haven't read "Adios America" from Ann Coulter, you should. She writes quite a bit how the Liberal Media (that's YOU WRAL!) almost Always calls illegal immigrants (especially those that have committed a crime) "durham man", "man", "durham resident", etc.

    It's such a hot issue, that it's VERY difficult to even get crime statistics sorted by immigration status.

    Law enforcement often isn't even allowed to ASK the immigration status!

    I think it would be helpful to know actual crime statistics (by immigration status) when we are voting for candidates and their proposed immigration laws. (see Chelsea just this past week, saying that the ACA should be extended to illegal immigrants).. which would clearly INCREASE the motivation of Illegal aliens to come here... AS STATED BY HILLARY back in the 90's!!

  • Shannon Robbins Mar 21, 2016
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    He is NOT a Durham teen. He's a teen from Honduras. The headline calls him a "Durham teen" while the video is labeled "Durham man". Both are incorrect in using the description of "Durham" anything. He's here illegally. He had the opportunity to follow the rules to become a legal resident and made a decision not to. His decision. His consequences.

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Mar 21, 2016
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    honestly folks...this story makes me want to vote for The Donald now.

  • Bryan Jeffries Mar 21, 2016
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    While I'm not in favor of breaking the law, the lack of nuanced impressions by old white dudes is equally disconcerting.

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Mar 21, 2016
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    all he has to do is cross the border again. he'll be back in a week.

  • Victoria Clark Mar 21, 2016
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    All of them should travel back home. It's amazing how citizens are punched for breaking laws, and this people not only break ours they use our tax dollars being defended and tell us their rights. This really is a double standard.

  • Jeffrey Derry Mar 20, 2016
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    And the mother appears to be illegal...doesn't speak English...people we are loosing our language, borders and culture rapidly, wake up write Congressman Butterfield and express your dissatisfaction. This is an closed case. The adult Mr Acosta should be sent home and mother and father too if illegal.

  • Jeffrey Derry Mar 20, 2016
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    This is a shame. In terms of immigration law he is an adult. He stiffed a Federal court. We are a country of laws not emotion. Follow the law and deport.

  • Jeffrey Derry Mar 20, 2016
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    This is a shame. In I

  • Curtis Denton Mar 20, 2016
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    Saldana~....thats Irish right?....lmmfao