Durham County

Judge orders Wildin Acosta deported, but not yet. Here’s why.

A Charlotte judge has ordered Wildin Acosta deported.
A Charlotte judge has ordered Wildin Acosta deported. The Herald-Sun

The Charlotte Immigration Court has ordered former Riverside High School student Wildin Acosta deported, according to the Durham organization Alerta Migratoria NC.

The order came from Judge V. Stuart Couch, said Viridiana Martínez, director of Alerta Migratoria. Acosta will not be immediately deported, she said. He recently married his high school sweetheart, who has filed a petition for asylum. Acosta will be allowed to stay in Durham while a court is allowed to rule on the appeal based on her petition, she said.

Neither Acosta nor his attorney, his supporters or members of the media were present during the judge’s ruling, Martínez said. “Instead of waiting to give that decision in a transparent manner ... he didn’t do that,” she said.

Couch gave a continuance to Acosta in October. In October, a spokeswoman for Alerta Migratoria NC said the continuance would allow Acosta’s new lawyer, immigration attorney Nardine Guirguis, the appropriate amount of time to review Acosta’s case as needed to best represent the new client.

Acosta maintains that he fears returning to his native Honduras because of rampant gang violence. “If I am deported, I know they would kill me,” Acosta said during an October interview.

As he left his home for school on Jan. 28, 2016, Acosta was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for being in the country illegally and missing a mandatory court appearance.

After spending more than six months in Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, he was released on $10,000 bail.

Acosta told immigration authorities he was fleeing gang violence in Honduras when he was stopped at the Texas border in 2014.

He attended a court hearing on Dec. 17, 2014, but failed to show up for one in March 2015.

Acosta’s arrest came as part of a nationwide campaign by ICE to locate and deport immigrants who had crossed the border illegally.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1