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Durham teen released from immigration detention center

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Wildin Acosta was released on bond from a GA detention center (WTVD)

A Durham teen taken into custody by federal authorities earlier this year has been released on bond.

According to the Georgia Detention Center, Wildin Acosta was released Friday.

On a Thursday morning in January, ICE agents took the then 18-year-old Acosta into custody as he was leaving for school. Soon after, he ended up in a detention center in Georgia, awaiting word of deportation.

Acosta came to the U.S. to flee dangerous conditions in Honduras and his family was already here. However, Acosta supporters say he moved to the U.S. after January 1, 2014, which is a cutoff date for many under President Barack Obama's immigration plan.

READ MORE: Detained Durham teen finally on path to come home

Since then, his teachers, friends, education leaders and even lawmakers have been fighting for his release.
On Wednesday there was finally a bond hearing scheduled for the 19-year-old, but it was canceled. Instead Acosta's attorney, Evelyn Smallwood, received a phone call Wednesday morning. She was told ICE entered into an agreement for a $10,000 bond for her client.

Having filed for that request last week, she had already warned Acosta's family and supporters of the amount. They set up a GoFundMe page and within barely two days, the donations came pouring in.


According to the group Alerta Migratoria NC, Acosta is back home with his family in Durham.

Congressman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement upon learning of Acosta's release:

Today I join with the Durham Community, including Riverside High School teachers and students, elected officials, community organizers, and Wildin's family and friends in celebrating Wildin's release from detention.

Upon learning of Wildin's apprehension in late January, my staff and I have worked tirelessly for his release and for his fair treatment within the Immigration Court system and asylum process. Wildin's release means a lot to me and my office, but we were joined in this fight by so many others.

Now that Wildin is out of detention he will finally have the opportunity to present his case for asylum. Having his asylum request heard and properly considered is what I, along with the Durham community have been fighting to achieve over the past six months. I am confident that he will ultimately prevail in being granted asylum, and I am hopeful about Wildin's future. I am happy that he will now be able to complete his high school education, earn the diploma that he was working so hard to obtain, and finally resume his journey to becoming an engineer.

From the hundreds of people in the community who donated money for Wildin's bond, to the resolutions passed by Durham's Board of Education, Human Relations Commission, and City Council, the support for Wildin has been unwavering. I am honored to represent Durham in Congress and vow to keep fighting every day for the well-being of each of my constituents.

Bryan D. Cox, the Southern Region Communications Director with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, released the following statement:

"Wildin David Guillen-Acosta, a 19-year-old Honduran national, was taken into U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) custody Jan. 28 in the parking lot of his residence. Mr. Acosta is an ICE priority as he was apprehended at the border while seeking to unlawfully enter the United States; however, ICE will await the outcome of Mr. Acosta's immigration proceedings before taking further action.
As part of the civil immigration enforcement priorities announced by Secretary Johnson in November 2014, ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. This includes convicted criminals and those apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States."

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Related Topics:
ICEimmigrationimmigration reformpresident barack obamadeportationDurham
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