Casey’s tweetstorm can’t save Honduran mother from deportation

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A Honduran woman and her 5-year-old son who had been imprisoned at Berks County Residential Center were deported Wednesday despite a personal appeal by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey to the Department of Homeland Security and White House to stop their removal. 


Advocates for the woman, who entered the country illegally but had been pleading for asylum, said she and the child fled Honduras more than a year ago after she witnessed her cousin’s murder by a criminal gang. She said the gang members had threatened to harm her and the boy.

Beginning with the message “Twitter: it’s urgent,” the typically mild-mannered Casey — a Democrat up for re-election next year — fired off dozens of tweets through the day, chronicling his efforts to derail the removal. 






At 12:26 p.m. he tweeted that he had spoken with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who promised to look into the matter. “I’ll hold him accountable to do the right thing,” Casey wrote.

But the efforts were for naught.




Casey’s office said he was trying to speak directly with DHS Secretary John Kelly Wednesday when he learned that the mother and child had already been put on a plane at 3:40 p.m.

In a direct tweet to President Trump two hours later, Casey wrote, “I am sending you a photo of the 5yr old child, who was deported … despite possibly being eligible for SIJS,” a category known as special immigrant juvenile status. During Trump’s campaign and since taking office, the president has called for stricter deportation efforts.




At 9:02 pm Wednesday, Casey tweeted: “This child and his mother deserved better from this Administration. They got the absolute worst.”

On Thursday morning, DHS confirmed that the two were back in Honduras.




The mother’s legal case to remain in the U.S. had wended its way through the immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently said it was not entertain a further appeal.

DHS maintained that there was no legal basis for her continuing presence in the U.S. and that she was lawfully removed.

On Monday, 13 congressmen, and nine senators, led by Casey, and including New Jersey’s two Democratic senators, Robert Menendez and Corey Booker, wrote to DHS Sec. Kelly asking him “to focus … on deporting violent felons … rather than expelling young mothers and their children fleeing near certain death in their home countries.”

























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