Supporters of Wildin Acosta and 'NC7' Demand Release, Plan ICE Protest | News

Supporters of Wildin Acosta and 'NC7' Demand Release, Plan ICE Protest


On Wednesday, Alerta Migratoria NC released a statement titled "Free the NC 7" in support of WIldin Acosta and six other teens that have been taken and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in recent months.

Acosta, a student at Durham's Riverside High School, was grabbed by ICE agents outside his home on January 28, as he was getting ready to drive to school. He is currently detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. 

In Wednesday's news release, Alerta Migratoria, an advocacy group for immigrants, demanded the release of all North Carolina teenagers facing similar circumstances. 

Here's the text of the release, in its entirety, including the kids' government-assigned "alien numbers" :

We, Alerta Migratoria NC, request that the Department of Homeland Security headquarters immediately grant prosecutorial discretion and release to Wildin David Guillen Acosta (A# 206-799-049) of Durham; Josue Alexander Soriano Cortez (A# 206-731-549) of Thomasville; Santos Geovany Padilla-Guzman (A# 208-268-389) of Raleigh; Edwin Yonatan Alvarez Galvan (A#202-076-383) of Cary; Bilmer Araeli Pujoy Juarez (A# 202-129-863) of Greenville;and Pedro Arturo Salmeron Salmeron (A# 206-794-982), Walter Joel Aguilar Ramirez (A# 206-799-034) and Yefri Bertin Sorto-Hernandez (A# 206-766-187) of Charlotte.

We have not received an ICE response to any kid’s request for release. Furthermore, ICE has denied Wildin Acosta’s last stay of removal request. ICE’s indifference to these incarcerated kids is deeply concerning and will not go unchallenged. These are Central American kids who are seeking refuge from gangs, such as the Mara Salvatrucha, and whose countries have failed to protect them.

Over the past few weeks, ICE raids have sparked community panic and national outrage, including from local government officials in North Carolina—who have strongly condemned ICE actions and called for the release of these kids.

Rather than jailing and deporting kids, ICE should be treating the requests of unaccompanied minors with particularly special care. The Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memorandum requires DHS personnel exercise discretion where individuals “qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our law.”  The memo also states that “absent extraordinary circumstances or the requirement of mandatory detention, field office directors should not expend detention resources on…[immigrants] whose detention is otherwis

e not in the public interest.”

Alerta Migratoria NC demands that ICE make decisions on the aforementioned cases by noon on Friday, February 26, 2016.

Should our kids not be released by noon on the 26th, there will be a public response by the community that has called for the release of Central American refugee kids.

Alerta Migratoria representative Viridiana Martinez told The INDY that the response would likely be a protest outside of the ICE building in Charlotte.

The most recent demonstration in support of Acosta took place at the CCB Plaza in Durham, where some of his Riverside High School teachers gathered to speak with him over speaker phone. He requested that they send him some homework, so that he may graduate by June.

This week, a new attorney retained by the family is filing a motion to re-open his case. Meanwhile, of course, his family in Durham is going through hell. Wildin, now nineteen, came from Honduras in 2014 to escape gangs that were threatening his life. Now, he and his family are waiting in fear.

“ICE never tells people when someone is going to be deported," Martininez recently told The INDY. "The way that we typically find out is through the consulate. Because people usually have to be issued a travel document in order for them to be put on a plane, and sent back to a country. Whatever country, you know

“Because the reality is that ICE is ruthless, and it’s their job to enforce immigration laws, as they have stated. And so, at this point, we’re just trying to figure out whose order it is that they’re following to, basically, terrorize and separate our families, and take people way from schools in the way that these agents are coming after – so aggressively targeting these teenagers like Wildin."

The Durham Human Relations Commission, the Durham City Council and the Durham Public Schools Board of Education have all expressed disapproval of the ICE raids. 

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