Guatemalan teen detained for three months gets asylum, released

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT (AP) — A Guatemalan teenager living in Connecticut has been granted asylum in the United States (US) after having been detained by immigration authorities for more than three months.

The New Haven Register reported a US Immigration Court judge in Boston granted asylum on Monday to Mario Aguilar Castanon, an 18-year-old student at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven.

The Hartford Courant reports that a lawyers for Aguilar said he was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody on Tuesday.

Aguilar came to the US 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.

Federal immigration officials took Aguilar into custody in September as he entered Milford Superior Court, where he was scheduled to appear to face charges related to a car crash. Police said he hit a parked car while driving without a licence and no insurance.

Aguilar also was charged with driving under the influence, but his lawyers expect him to be cleared of that allegation because there was no sobriety test.

His case remains pending.