A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement in Georgia denies a report today from WNCN
that nineteen-year-old Wildin Acosta, formerly of Durham, will be deported back to Honduras on Monday.
"There is a false statement," says Bryan Cox, southern region communication director for ICE. "He is not scheduled to be removed. I've seen that release. An activist group is making that claim. There's no truth to it, whatsoever."
(WNCN later updated its report.)
The group Cox refers to is Alerta Migratoria NC, an immigrants' rights group that is advocating for Acosta, a Riverside High School student who was picked up by ICE in January, and is now detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
Alerta Migratoria NC released a statement Wednesday afternoon, announcing that Acosta would be deported April 4, despite recently being granted a stay:
Earlier today we received notification that ICE is still moving forward with Wildin David Guillen Acosta’s deportation on Monday, April 4, 2016 This is despite Wildin having a stay of deportation granted by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for the pendency of his appeal.
"Where this is coming from, I believe, is that, apparently, one of these [non-governmental organizations] got information from the Honduran Consulate about [Acosta's] name being on a request for what are called 'travel documents,'" says Cox.
He likens the documents to a passport or visa.
"We just can't send a person to another country, without him going through that same process" says Cox. He adds that the Honduran government only issues those documents "every three weeks or so. It's common practice for us to do the logistical coordination. Acosta's got a stay of removal, pending a decision on his case. We don't know when that decision will be made. The court could do that at any time."
Having those travel documents ahead of time, says Cox, mean that ICE could spare Acosta three or four unnecessary weeks in detention if the decision is made to deport him.
The April 4 date, he adds, is likely when the documents will be issued.