Congressman Butterfield releases statement on teen’s deportation

Congressman G.K. Butterfield. WNCT photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep G. K. Butterfield of the 1st District, who has been working for the release of a teen who is set for deportation Sunday, released a statement on the situation Saturday.

He said he spoke with the ICE director who indicated to him that the case is complicated and that she is not able to share all the details with him.

What we know is that Wildin David Guillen-Acosta, a 19-year-old Honduran national, illegally crossed the Southern border in June 2014, was caught by ICE and was released until an immigration hearing.

He came to Durham, where his supporters said he lived with his parents, who the Associated Press reports are both in the country illegally. He went to Durham Riverside High School. He failed to appear at his immigration hearing and a deportation order was issued for him.

Teachers, classmates and others have been working to get the deportation order rescinded. Friday night it was announced that the deportation would go forward as scheduled Sunday.

On Saturday, Butterfield released the following statement regarding his detainment by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

“Late last night, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña telephoned me to advise that she had personally reviewed the case of Wildin Acosta. Director Saldaña regretfully informed me that she will not use her executive authority to modify the administrative decision rendered on Mr. Acosta’s deportation proceedings late this afternoon. She informed me that this is a very complicated case and that she is not able to share all the details with me at this time. Director Saldaña further stated her level of review of the case is the fourth level authorized by law. I informed Director Saldaña that I am disappointed that the decision was released after 5:00 pm and that any appeal of the judge’s decision wouldn’t be able to take place until Monday morning, after Mr. Acosta’s scheduled deportation. Director Saldaña’s response was that the administrative decision was rendered by the Department of Justice and not the Department of Homeland Security. She expressed compassion for Wildin and his family, but her decision appears to be final.

“I am very disappointed that the Director would not use her discretion in a decision that will have such a profound impact on Wildin, who fled violence in Honduras and sought refuge in the United States. I will continue to monitor Mr. Acosta’s case and I, once again, urged Director Sarah Saldaña to delay Wildin Acosta’s deportation in order to give him an opportunity to appeal this administrative decision.”

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