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New Haven teen detained for 3 months gets asylum, returns home, Mayor Elicker says his detention is shameful

New Haven

(AP/WTNH) — A Guatemalan teenager living in Connecticut has been granted asylum in the U.S. after having been detained by immigration authorities for more than three months.

A U.S. Immigration Court judge in Boston granted asylum Monday to Mario Aguilar Castanon, an 18-year-old student at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven.

RELATED: Press conference held for New Haven student detained by ICE, now granted asylum

Lawyers for Aguilar say he was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody Tuesday.

Aguilar came to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2018 to flee threats from gangs that tried to recruit him. Teachers and friends at his high school and state and city officials have rallied to protest his detention.

New Haven Mayor-Elect Justin Elicker released a statement on social media Tuesday evening saying, “I just received the news that Mario is coming home from Massachusetts. I am so happy he will be back with his family here in New Haven. DHS still has 30 days to appeal the decision, but let us savor this moment as he comes home.”

News 8 confirmation Wednesday morning from Aguilar’s family that he has returned home.

Minutes after his inauguration as Mayor of New Haven, Justin Elicker said Wednesday afternoon Aguilar’s detention “overall it’s shameful.”

“If you step back and look at the situation, overall it’s shameful that we have locked up an 18-year-old kid that should be in school and be with his family over the holidays.

I think our society needs to be much more compassionate about how we treat people.”

– New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

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