President Donald Trump may have not had much success in making America great again, but he seems to be fulfilling at least one of his biggest campaign promises: sending immigrants back to the countries they fled from in order to avoid war and violence.
The latest victim of the new administration’s xenophobic policies was a mother and her 5-year-old son whom the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer placed on a plane to Honduras despite personal appeals from Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey.
The asylum-seeker reportedly left her homeland after witnessing her cousin’s murder. The senator said local gangs were also looking for her.
“This is totally unnecessary. Neither of these individuals poses any threat at all and they are sending them back... into a life-threatening circumstance,” Casey told 69 News. “Homeland Security and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] should be focused on people that pose a threat. This obsession with deportation, which has been unfortunately an obsession with the administration since they started, does nothing for our national security.”
Twitter: it's urgent. I just found out that a young child & her mother who came to U.S. seeking refuge will be sent back to Honduras today.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
Worst part: According to lawyers @DHSgov knew darn well that 5yr old & mother had secured paperwork to protect them & they rushed removal.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
The gangs will target this mother and her child the moment they land in Honduras, yet Trump admin insists on this cruel policy.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
The authorities were holding the woman and her child at the Berks County Residential Center in Berks County. The facility houses women and children who are seeking asylum hearings.
The mother, along with a group of several other women, had filed a lawsuit claiming their asylum claims were unfairly rejected. Also, as Casey pointed out, the child had the right to seek Special Immigrant Juveniles status, but he was deported anyways.
This mother & child are being held at a facility in Berks county & are being sent into danger despite the child being eligible for relief.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
Targeted for death, this mother fled with her 5yr old child. The child is potentially eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
Despite that, the Trump admin is planning to put them on a plane TODAY. A plane ride that can very likely lead to their death.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 3, 2017
Along with asking the Department of Homeland Security and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to spare the duo, the senator also sent a letter to the president.
"Why don’t they focus on people that present a threat to us?” Casey added. “Instead, they are pretty much letting ICE do whatever they want.”
Meanwhile, ICE identified the woman as Fany Manzanares Hernandez and defended the deportation.
“It's unfortunate that politicians are repeating misleading information and in the process, demonizing the men and women whose job it is to enforce the laws Congress writes,” said ICE Assistant Director Liz Johnson in a statement. “Manzanares was removed May 3, 2017 after her claims were denied at multiple levels and she had exhausted all legal remedies available to her. Manzanares sought and was afforded judicial review of her claims challenging her removal order before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the nation’s highest courts, namely the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously denied Manzanares’ Petition for Writ of Certiorari.”