Raleigh deportation protest calls on Clinton for action

Elaina Athans Image
Friday, April 8, 2016
Protesters hit the sidewalk in support of detained teens.

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Ten school desks and chairs were placed on a Raleigh sidewalk to send a message to a presidential candidate. Demonstrators want 10 students, who are on the verge of deportation, back in class. One of those teens is Wildin Acosta, a Riverside High School student picked up by agents in January.

He's appealing his deportation and his supporters are calling on Hillary Clinton to help.

Wildin Acosta

"None of these chairs should be empty. None of these students should be missing," said Holly Hardin of the Durham Association of Educators.

Demonstrators say instead the teens should be in school finishing their education.

The group rallied outside of the North Carolina Democratic Party headquarters on Hillsborough Street and are calling on presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to join their cause.

They delivered a petition. It had more than 4,000 signatures.

Clinton made statements last month that she would stop raids and stop deportation if elected into office, and would also move toward immigration reform. The demonstrators want Clinton to stand by her words and take action in an urgent matter.

"He's continually asked for his homework, has asked to be back in the classroom," Hardin said.

Acosta is from Honduras. He was stopped at the border in 2012, but was allowed to continue on to North Carolina because he was a juvenile at the time.

He missed a court date in March of last year and an immigration judge ordered his removal. Since January, he's been awaiting his fate from the Stewart Detention Center in Atlanta.

"His mother talks to him on the phone every day. He cries every day," said supporter Allison Swaim.

Demonstrators are fighting to get him released so he can earn his diploma.

"Wildin has been working really hard to graduate from Riverside and has been planning to graduate in June for a long time," Swaim said. "He's still got a chance, but the fourth quarter just started on Monday. If he's not back in school next week, he's not going to be able to catch up and graduate."

Acosta's attorney, Evelyn Smallwood, tells ABC11 she is also trying to get him out of jail and back in the classroom. She is appealing the case and waiting for a court date to be set.

Report a Typo