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Efforts to stop Durham teen's deportation unsuccessful

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Ingrid Portillo, 18, was deported to El Salvador.

A Durham teenager was deported to her home country of El Salvador on Friday.

Ingrid Portillo, 18, was detained by immigration agents in May, and according to her teachers at the School for Creative Studies, it happened while she was on her way to school.

Portillo was in the eleventh grade at the schools. Her ESL teacher, Debbie Granger, said the teenager is very shy but kind, and was focused on learning English.

Joel Gutierrez said he's Portillo's boyfriend and that the two have been together for about a year.

Gutierrez said he was stunned when he heard she was detained by ICE agents in May because Portillo was focused on finishing school.

"It's hard to take because you have someone you're sharing yourself with and all of a sudden they take away someone that in all truth, you love, it's hard," Gutierrez said in Spanish.

"She would only tell me that she wanted to study, she wanted to get her degree, and get ahead," he added. "I think it's a shame that they would take away a person's dreams just like that, because she wasn't doing anything wrong, she wasn't the type of person who would be disorderly or anything like that."

The teenager's teachers and local congressional representative GK Butterfield have made pleas to ICE in the past to halt Portillo's deportation.

Bryan Cox, southern region communications director for ICE, told ABC11 that Portillo has no criminal history, but fell under the border security section as a recent arrival with a final order after Jan. 1, 2014.

Cox issued the following statement:

"Ingrid Portillo Hernandez, an 18-year-old Salvadoran national, was removed from the United States Sept. 23 by U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) pursuant to a final order of removal issued by a federal immigration judge in July 2015.

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. These priorities also include individuals issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014."

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