Family worried, but ICE denies teen on deport list

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Teen awaits deportation fate.

The family and attorney of a Durham teenager facing deportation are responding to denials from immigration officials that they're moving forward.

Wildin Acosta, 19, who came to the U.S. illegally from Honduras in 2014, was scheduled to be sent back to Honduras earlier this month. But last week, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted Acosta a stay while he appeals.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not allowed to deport him while his appeal is pending, but Wednesday morning, Acosta's attorney Evelyn Smallwood said she was alarmed to hear from the Honduran consulate.

"We got word from the Honduran consulate that Wildin has been placed on the list for processing documents," Smallwood told ABC11.

Smallwood said Acosta's name was on the list for the next removal flight scheduled for the following Monday, April 4.

"We had done everything that we thought we could do in order to protect him and we feel like what ICE did today calls into question whether or not we can trust them," Smallwood said.

Acosta has been in custody at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia since ICE agents picked him up from his home in Durham in January. When she got word of the flight notification, Acosta's mother, Dilsia, was shocked.

"They're playing with my son's emotions," she said. "They'll tell him today you're leaving and tomorrow they'll tell him you're not."

Advocacy group Alerta Migratoria NC issued a press release Wednesday, accusing ICE of using aggressive tactics and moving forward with Acosta's deportation, despite a pending appeal.

ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox responded to ABC11 by saying the allegations were not true.

"Mr. Acosta is not scheduled for removal at this time," he said.

Still, Smallwood said the notification serves as motivation for her to convince ICE to release Acosta back to his mother in Durham while his lengthy appeal process plays out in court.

"This is something that he is constantly in fear of," she said of Acosta facing deportation. "As long as they continue to have physical custody of him, then we are always going to be kind of at their mercy."

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