Congressman visits Durham teen detained by immigration officials

Acosta in a photo from family.

LUMPKIN, Ga. (WNCN) – Rep. G. K. Butterfield traveled to Georgia to visit a Durham teen who was detained by immigration officials.

Butterfield, who represents the First District, visited with Wildin Acosta at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.

The congressman, along with Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. of Georgia, spoke with Acosta for around 35 minutes.

In a release, Butterfield said the teen is good health and eager to return to Durham to complete his education at Riverside High School.

“The level of support Wildin has received is incredible and seeing Wildin today was emotional. He is a bright and impressive young man,” Butterfield said.

Acosta told Butterfield of his escape from violence in Honduras at the age of 17.

The teen told Butterfield he voluntarily surrendered to U.S. immigration officials following a 17-day journey to the U.S. border.

He was processed and was released to his family in Durham, Butterfield said in a release.

In a previous statement to CBS North Carolina, ICE Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Elzea said, “Wildin David Guillen-Acosta, a 19-year-old Honduran national, was taken into U.S. Immigration and Enforcement custody Jan. 28, 2016, in the parking lot of his residence. Mr. Guillen-Acosta falls within an ICE priority category due to a final order of removal issued by an immigration judge in March 2015.”

Following the visit, Butterfield said he spoke families of other detained immigrants.

“After speaking with Wildin and the advocates, I now have a deeper appreciation for how complex and emotional our immigration system can be for everyone involved,” Butterfield said.

Wildin is awaiting a decision on his appeal in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals.

“When I return to Washington, I will speak on the House Floor about Wildin’s case so that my colleagues and others know the human cost these ICE’s raids are having on communities like those I represent as well as the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform,” Butterfield said.

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