School rallies outside Milford Courthouse to demand release of student detained by ICE

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The fight to bring a teen back to his New Haven home reemerged Tuesday afternoon as Wilbur Cross High School students and staff rallied outside the Milford Courthouse.

Mario Aguilar is a junior at the school, but hasn't been in class since he was detained Sept. 10.

"Mario came to court here for a motor vehicle infraction, and even before he got inside, and even before he went to see a judge, he was picked up by ICE," said Eric Cruz Lopez, of CT Students for a Dream.

Supporters say the 18-year-old fled death threats and gang violence in Guatemala in 2016 to live with an uncle in New Haven. They add that he has been thriving in the Cross community. Now he's being held at a detention center in Massachusetts.

Students and staff have sent hundreds of postcards and letters to urge the judge to allow him to return to school while the case is pending.

Advocates for Aguilar have rallied in New Haven and Boston.

Teachers said they have also done what they could to keep up his education.

"We've tried to send homework. They won't give it to him. They won't give him the books we've sent," said Mia Comulada Breuler, counselor at Wilbur Cross High School.

Aguilar's classmates have even left his seat open in school in hopes he'll be back in it soon.

A few weeks ago, Aguilar's attorneys presented his asylum case to judges in Boston.

A decision is expected on Dec. 12.

MORE: Supporters demand New Haven teen's release from ICE custody

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