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Trump official defends Honduran mom’s deportation, blasts senator’s ‘tweetstorm’

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Samantha Schmidt reports in the Washington Post:

At about 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. took to Twitter with a message: “It’s urgent.”

The senator, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, had learned that a mother and her young son were in the process of being deported to Honduras, Casey said, despite the child’s apparent eligibility for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. A photo of the boy had landed on his desk, along with a note saying he had “nowhere to go.” The mother “witnessed the murder of her cousin in Honduras and was being pursued by gangs,” he said.

“Despite that, the Trump admin is planning to put them on a plane TODAY,” Casey said. “A plane ride that can very likely lead to their death.”

The posts began a day-long stream of fiery tweets lambasting the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security and calling on the president directly to halt the removal of the 25-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son, who had both been held in a family detention center in Berks County, Pa.

It was a rare display for the usually mild-mannered senator, who said he has voted to double the number of Border Patrol agents and increase fencing and surveillance of the border. Through his tweets, Casey cast a real-time narrative of the imminent deportation, and repeatedly made impassioned pleas to the federal government to “do the right thing.”

He said he placed calls to DHS Secretary John F. Kelly, “telling him to stop this.” He spoke with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who promised him the Trump administration was looking into the case, Casey said.

As the day progressed, so did the family’s removal. Casey updated those following the case, tweeting that the family had been ordered onto a plane, though it was unclear whether it was a direct flight or one with a layover. The administration “refuses to tell me,” he said. “Infuriating.”

Ultimately, the senator’s pleas were not enough to stop the mother and son from making their way to Honduran soil, a fate Casey called “a potential death sentence.”

A spokeswoman with the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday morning confirmed to The Washington Post that the woman had arrived in Honduras.

“The gang who threatened the life of this child and mother won’t waste time in seeking to mete out their revenge,” Casey said. . .

Continue reading. And it’s worth reading in full to see how Kafkaesque our government is becoming.

Franco Ordeñez reports for McClatchy:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly defended the administration’s decision to deport a Honduran mother and her 5-year-old child back to their violence-ridden homeland, saying that if Congress doesn’t want the administration doing that it should change the law.

“You can’t pick and choose the laws that you follow. I can’t pick and choose the laws I enforce,” Kelly said Thursday morning at a forum on poverty and violence in Central America, which experts blame for a surge of migrants arriving along the southern border.

Kelly was addressing a tweetstorm aimed at the White House Wednesday by Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, over the deportation. Casey said the mother had been threatened with death in Honduras.

Fany Manzanares Hernandez and her son were put on a plane back to Honduras Wednesday after spending more than a year in family detention centers in the United States fighting for the right to stay in the country.

“Here’s their story: the 5yr old’s mother witnessed the murder of her cousin in Honduras and was being pursued by gangs,” Casey tweeted out Wednesday in a series of tweets. “Targeted for death, this mother fled with her 5 yr old child. The child is potentially eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.”

The two were among a dozen mothers and children who had been held over a year at the Berks County Residential Center outside Reading, Pennsylvania. It’s one of three family detention centers used by the administration in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas, and Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Casey said he had spoken with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus about the case and was told Preibus was looking into the situation. Seeing that assertion on Twitter surprised the White House. A senior administration official told McClatchy that calling out the chief of staff on Twitter would not help their working relationship.

Casey also accused Kelly of avoiding his call, but the secretary said he tried at least five times to reach Casey back. Kelly accused Casey of going to the press with “outrageous” stories about why DHS deports someone. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 May 2017 at 10:01 am

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