Some people may believe that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) suddenly ramped up detentions after Donald Trump became president. While there’s certainly an increase in detainments of undocumented immigrants, ICE has been rounding up people way before that, too. One such individual was detained last fall.
Wildin Acosta, a senior at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, faced deportation because he was affiliated with a gang.
El hondureño Wildin Acosta se perdió su graduación por estar en un centro de deportación uni.vi/xBEV3015LLR
The 19-year-old from Honduras had been living in Durham for three years before ICE officers detained him and threatened to deport him. Indy Week reported that Acosta and other undocumented teens were part of a gang known as the “NC6” that was targeted by ICE.
Acosta was detained in front of his home and taken to Stewart Detention Center, in Lumpkin, Georgia, for roughly 8 months, which meant he missed his graduation.
Hoy, en #noticias40, cancelan la cita que Wildin Guillén Acosta tenía hoy en la corte tras llegar a un acuerdo con #ICE…
A group of social activists, along with family and many from the area including school officials worked diligently to get him released.
— The News & Observer (@newsobserver) June 16, 2016
Some also contributed to a fundraiser to pay his bond. They raised $11,870 from their $10,000 goal and were able to get him released.
A year later, he finally was able to get that high school diploma.
— Victoria Bouloubasis (@thisfeedsme) June 14, 2017
“This is a huge step for me,” Acosta said according to Indy Week. “And I think this the first step to help me achieve my other goals.”
On August 30, Acosta will be back in court, and will possibly walk out with a work permit and approval of his asylum request.
Acosta was asked what his plans are now that he has graduated high school.
— Anthony Wilson (@AnthonyABC11) March 11, 2017
Acosta, who’s been close to deportation three times, replied: “You mean immediately, right? I’d like to take a break. Enjoy life a little bit.”