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 p.m. 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.Says Julia Mao, enforcement fellow at the National Immigration Project: “You know the system is rigged when ICE tries to fast-track a deportation when it is clear that the person was not given an opportunity to file an appeal or stay. It is clear that ICE Director Saldaña lives in a world where the only review that matters is a secret review stripped of due process.”
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.