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Protesters fear for safety of teens who may be deported

Posted January 30

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— Family and friends of teenagers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement met in Durham for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to protest ICE raids.

Earlier in the week, three North Carolina teenagers were picked up and detained by officials. One of them was 19-year-old David Guillen Acosta, who was heading to school Thursday when he found ICE agents waiting outside his home.

His mother said her son came from Honduras in 2014 to escape gang violence and said she’s fearful of what will happen if he goes back.

She said that she wants ICE agents to set her son free because he has no family in Honduras if he is sent back. She believes that, if he returns, his life may be in danger.

Ellen Holmes, who taught Guillen Acosta at Riverside High School, voiced similar fears.

"A lot of students are so scared they are not even coming to school. I think it's horrible to rip families apart," she said. "I mean, we're sending children back to countries that aren't safe, where they have no future and where they can face possible death."

Guillen Acosta appeared before an immigration judge in Charlotte when he arrived, but he never returned to immigration court for fear of deportation. That prompted a deportation notice to be issued for him last March.

ICE has recently changed its enforcement priorities with a new push to round up women and children who crossed the border illegally after May 2014.

Those who gathered at Saturday’s vigil, which is similar to another held in Raleigh earlier in the week, plan to continue their efforts to free Guillen Acosta and the other teens. They also plan to continue protesting the recent ICE raids targeting women and children.

23 Comments

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  • Chase Truman Feb 1, 2016
    user avatar

    Why are they targeting just women and children?

  • Milton Bailey Feb 1, 2016
    user avatar

    Woe is me, I am a US citizen and I broke the law; am I going to get a free pass for my transgression, or am I going to get the proscribed punishment I guess if I was here ILLEGALLY I would get a free pass, free education, and any other freebies I desire.

    Kind of sounds to me like the earlier poster, time for a class action suit for citizens for EQUAL treatment under the LAW! Whether it is liked or not; it is the LAW of the USA and SHOULD be enforced. Cross the border without proper paperwork, you broke the law and the result is DEPORTATION!

    Deport him and all family members that are here illegally; then there will be family there for him to live with.

    ANYONE in the USA ILLEGALLY are CRIMINALS and should be DEPORTED!

  • Hamilton Bean Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    All of the tears and "WOE IS ME" publixiry doesn't change the fact that they are here illegally Do we have ANY laws that have existed long before their arrival ??? How ever pitiful the individual conditions does that remove them from the enforcement of the law??

  • Greg Klayton Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    Firstly, the border needs to be secured.

    Secondly, for those who are in America now illegally we need to look at cases individually. Some of these young people have no where to go. America is all they know. Americans are a compassionate people. We need to exercise the same generosity to people who are not here of their own accord as to those abroad who are devastated by typhoons and tsunamis.

    Thirdly, time to go to the root course. We need to squeeze the ***** of Mexico, Central America and South America to get their act economic and social justice act together. Sanctions, Tariffs, whatever.

    In the grand scheme of things we should not be so alarmed that so many people want to break into this country. We should be alarmed when they STOP wanting to break in. America is still the best place on earth to live!

  • Greg Klayton Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    Firstly, the border needs to be secured.

    Secondly, for those who are in America now illegally we need to look at cases individually. Some of these young people have no where to go. America is all they know. Americans are a compassionate people. We need to exercise the same generosity to people who are not here of their own accord as to those abroad who are devastated by typhoons and tsunamis.

    Thirdly, time to go to the root course. We need to squeeze the ***** of Mexico, Central America and South America to get their act economic and social justice act together. Sanctions, Tariffs, whatever.

    In the grand scheme of things we should not be so alarmed that so many people want to break into this country. We should be alarmed when they STOP wanting to break in. America is still the best place on earth to live!

  • Amy Whaley Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Check your facts Robert. I couldn't find anything that verifies your statement regarding permanent resident. As far as which illegals people complain about, I find that country of origin doesn't matter.... it is the illegal part that is a problem.

  • Marty Baker Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    Everyone has a "reason" for being illegal. That doesn't make it right. Some people think if there's a good reason to break the law, we should just overlook it. What other laws should we just ignore?

  • Robert Richardson Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    I find it odd no one ever complains about the Cuban illegals who come here. Not only are they allowed to stay but can become a legal permanent resident within a year with chance of becoming a US citizen.

  • John Malcholm Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    I fully understand why many come here. The place they come from is squalid poverty, violent gangs roam unrestrained, rape is almost common place, medical care beyond a village elder's experience is non-existent. However, if you DO make it here, you should go above and beyond in working hard and staying out of trouble. That's been the unspoken agreement the US has had with illegals in past decades. But the second and third generation does not recognize the danger they are exposing their family, and inevitably gets into trouble and pulls the whole family into turmoil.

  • Amy Whaley Jan 31, 2016
    user avatar

    A previous version of this story made it clear that his family was here before him by a couple of years at least. My question is if the violence was so bad, why did the family leave him behind the first time? Who was he staying with in the Honduras? What are we and other countries doing to help the Honduras which is apparently the murder capital of the world?

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