DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Friday, an 18-year-old Durham High School student was deported back to El Salvador.
On May 17 agents with immigration Custom Enforcement picked up 18-year-old Ingrid Portillo Hernandez.
“So hard hearing and finding out that she had actually been deported,” said Lauren Wilkie a teacher at School for Creative Studies in Durham; where Portillo Hernandez attended.
According to a letter from Congressman G.K. Butterfield to immigration officials, Hernandez’s father, a political leader in El Salvador, was murdered by gang members.
Wilkie says for months, support had to be given silently, because Portillo Hernandez had received death threats and the family wanted to avoid any attention.
“They were so fearful for them it wasn’t worth the risk until they really realized it was a dire situation,” the teacher said.
The family realized that Wednesday, and the group Alerta Migratoria was contacted
“By the time we found out that her family was interested in doing whatever it took to get Ingrid out, because that is what she wanted, it was too late. It was too late for us to mobilize the community,” said Viridiana Martinez with Alerta Migratoria.
Portillo Hernandez has already been deported; however her friends are not giving up on her.
“Whatever we can do from here; just hoping in the meantime that she is safe,” said Wilkie
The family says they are so fearful for their daughter, they did not want to speak on camera or have her picture put on TV.