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Board rules in favor of Durham teen facing deportation

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Wildin Acosta (right) (WTVD)

The U.S. Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals ruled Monday in favor of a Durham teen from Honduras facing deportation.

Wildin Guillen Acosta, 19, is being held in a Georgia detention center after he was arrested in January. Acosta was picked up by ICE agents on his way to school after missing a court date for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014.

"He's struggling," said friend and immigration advocate Viridiana Martinez.

Martinez recently visited Acosta and said he is suffering in isolation.

The teen's mother has only been able to visit her son twice since he was locked up nearly six months ago.

"She's been praying a lot, and she's just super, super hopeful right now," said Martinez.

His arrest sparked outrage from his teachers at Riverside High School and the Durham community.
READ MORE: Deportation vigil held in Durham for teen
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Family and immigration advocates hosted a vigil to call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop deportations of four asylum-seeking teenagers from Central America.

"I just can't believe that it's in the spirit of America for us to deport this kid who wanted to survive. That's all he wanted to do was not get killed, not get swept into these gangs," said Martinez.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield is urging Acosta's immediate release in a written request to ICE.

"I am overjoyed that the BIA decided to reopen Wildin's case, giving him an opportunity to finally be heard and have his application for asylum adjudicated. After nearly six months in detention, it's time for Wildin to come home to Durham," he said in a statement.

The Durham Association of Educators is calling on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to release Acosta.

"He deserves the fundamental right to an education, which he can't get if he is not back in our classrooms," said a spokesperson for the organization.

"Let him go. We're just spending tax payer dollars unnecessarily keeping a kid who wants to be in school detained," said Martinez.

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