President Donald Trump’s administration ordered a young Honduran asylum-seeker and her five-year-old son to leave the U.S. on Wednesday, according to the office of Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
They fled Honduras after the woman witnessed her cousin’s murder. She was being chased by gangs, Casey said.
The woman and her son were on a plane to Honduras as of 3:40 p.m. Eastern time, according to Casey’s office.
Casey personally pleaded with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to spare them, the senator’s office said.
“This kind of action makes us less safe,” Casey said on MSNBC. “This is an outrage.”
The woman and her child had been in the custody of an immigration detention facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania. She was part of a group of Honduran women who filed a lawsuit claiming they failed their asylum interviews because an immigration judge never heard their full cases. The Supreme Court declined to hear their case in April.
The young boy is being sent back to Honduras even though he has the right to appear in front of a judge and seek Special Immigrant Juveniles status, Casey added.
A handful of other families, some with young children, have been held in the Berks County facility for almost 600 days even though all of the children have been granted SIJ status. Casey has written several letters to the Department of Homeland Security appealing for their release.
Trump has ramped up deportation efforts since taking office. The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Elise Foley contributed reporting.
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