Wesleyan janitor Francisco Acosta was fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet at his check-in with ICE this morning as his fight to stop his deportation continues. At the check-in, the 16-year resident of Hartford showed proof that he has purchased a one-way ticket back to Colombia, dated for mid-January, and ICE acknowledged receipt of his application for a stay of removal. Acosta’s lawyer Manuel Nieves anticipates prompt action on the application, and is pursuing additional legal avenues.
“This is the start of a process that we hope will lead to a stay in the near future, based on the significant humanitarian grounds that ICE will consider,” Manuel Nieves said.
Acosta fled Colombia in 2001 because of violence, including direct threats to his life. Despite the initial failure of this former math and chemistry teacher’s political asylum case, Acosta has continued pursuing avenues for relief while becoming the primary caregiver for his ill mother and a janitor at Wesleyan University (see Stop the Deportation of Francisco Acosta! a blog post of support from Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth). Throughout his stay in the U.S, Acosta has always been gainfully employed and fully paid his taxes. He has received over 300 signatures of support in a student-led petition at Wesleyan, and he has received over a dozen individual letters of support from organizations and elected officials.
“He taught physics and math in Colombia, and many of his companions there were killed in the violence,” Senator Blumenthal said at a rally in Hartford to stop the Deportation of Mr. Acosta. “He takes care of his mother, who is in her 80s, and he is one of her sole caregivers. Whatever ICE does, they should care about this man and others like him who can give back to America, and who are here to escape persecution and purse the American Dream.”
“President Trump made a big show of going after ‘murderers and rapists,’ but that’s not what we’ve seen in Connecticut,” said State Representative Ed Vargas, the MC of the rally. “Instead, he has gone after women like Nury Chavarria, a Norwalk mother of four. He has gone after men like Derby resident Luis Barrios, who fled violence in Guatemala. And now it’s Francisco Acosta, who also fled violence and who is a primary caregiver for his seriously ill mother. This has to stop now.”