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.
Facing deportation and already in the hands of ICE agents are North Carolina teens Pedro Arturo and Oscar Sanchez of Charlotte, Bilmar Juarez of Greenville, and Wildin Acosta of Durham.
Wildin's mother, Delsia Acosta, stood at the head of the church in Durham with advocates, silently pleading that her 18-year-old son be returned to her.
She said he was apprehended by ICE agents on Thursday before 7 a.m. He went inside to get his book bag and when he walked out of their front door, men in an unmarked vehicle were waiting outside. She said when they handcuffed him, that's when they identified themselves as being with ICE.
Delsia has not heard from her son since and said she believes he is still in North Carolina but isn't sure and has not been updated on his whereabouts.
Organizers of Saturday night's vigil say Wildin's story is similar to the three other teenagers. They say the boys fall under President Obama's immigration plan that stipulates anyone arriving to the United States on or after Jan. 1, 2014, be deported.
Wildin's family says he came to the U.S. after them and after that date. So they knew he was on the government's radar, but they hoped they would have more time.
They say he left Honduras because he was being pressured to join a gang. And not joining meant life or death for him. They hoped to get him asylum in the U.S. but ran out of time.
The Acosta family does have an attorney but say they're putting their faith in God. Right now, they are praying to be able to bring their son, who loves school and soccer, home soon.
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