There is a group of 6 immigrant teens ‘detained’ by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for deportation, including two teenagers from Charlotte, NC, and at least one teenager from Durham, NC. These boys are called the ‘NC 6.’ More teens have been detained, including at least 2 girls from El Salvador. Many of these teens have been grabbed on their ways to school. Of the Durham teenagers, one has been at least temporarily spared, another just deported to the country where her father was murdered. Learn more about how the Durham community fought to get one back to give one a chance at the 2016 NC NOW State Conference. Find out how the US is treating these teens and other immigrants, including women and even younger children.
Charlotte teenager Yefri Sorto-Hernandez was grabbed on his way to classes at West Mecklenburg High School on Jan. 27, 2016. Durham teenager Wildin Guillen Acosta was grabbed on his way to his High School on Jan 28, 2016. Durham teenager Ingrid Portillo Hernandez was taken later, on May 17, 2016, also while she was on her way to school. According to “Charlotte immigrant teens at center of controversial ICE arrests,” “Sorto-Hernandez’s case has earned national attention, in part because Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are being accused of using schools and bus stops to corral teens not legally in the country.”
These arrests of teenagers at school and on their way to school are happening in NC despite a “Sensitive Locations Memorandum” which designates safe spaces for students including schools, hospitals, religious institutions, and more. According to “Educators save one student from gang violence and deportation, lose another,” 9/23/16,
“Educators say that DHS’ failure to follow their own Sensitive Locations Memorandum—which designates safe spaces for students on their way to school or in a school setting—is deeply troubling and indicates a larger policy failure to properly monitor and investigate ICE misconduct, particularly at school bus stops.”
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Wildin Acosta on Jan. 28, 2016, as he left his Durham home for school. Since then, immigration activists, teachers, fellow students, Durham city officials and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield have called for his release and for a new hearing to consider his request for asylum.” That is all according to Wildin Acosta released from immigration custody, now home in Durham, 8/13/16 N&O. Some of his advocates in the Durham community are speaking at the NC NOW State Conference about what they did to get him at least temporary freedom and give him the ability to plead his case. Acosta’s case for asylum was never heard on its merits.
Unfortunately, despite a late effort to save her, Ingrid Portillo Hernandez was deported on Friday, 9/23/16, back to El Salvador, where her father had been murdered. Her family had been too frightened of exposure to publicize where they were until their fear for her life (if deported) outweighed their need for anonymity. Read more about Ingrid’s case at “Efforts to Stop Durham Teen’s Deportation Unsuccessful,” 9/23/16, ABC11, and at “Educators save one student from gang violence and deportation, lose another – and vow to keep fighting,” 9/23/16, EdVotes.Org.
“The teenager’s teachers and local congressional representative GK Butterfield have made pleas to ICE in the past to halt Portillo’s deportation.” Congressman Butterfield worked for Wildin Acosta’s freedom as well.
All of these teens are from countries that have become EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. More on that soon.
The boys are being held at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. The girls are being held in the Irwin Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.