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ICE officials. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia commons.
ICE officials. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia commons.

Senator Bob Casey takes on ICE

Senator Bob Casey is fighting for a reform of ICE and DHS processes for asylum seekers. 

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After a deluge of tweets and call from US Senator Bob Casey on Wednesday, a Honduran mother and her five-year-old son are back in Honduras, a move that the Senator says will eventually lead to their death. 

Held at Berks County Family Residential Center, the mother and son were fleeing threats of gangs after witnessing a murder in their home country. Seeking asylum in the US, the family has been in ICE custody for over a year.

"This 5yo and his mother aren't 'bad hombres,' " he tweeted, making reference to a term Trump regularly uses. "They aren't in a gang, they're running from death vulnerable, and scared."

Stating that he called Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Director of ICE Thomas Homan and Chief of Staff Preibus, Casey stated that getting in touch with the leaders was difficult with many of them waiting until the end of day or the next day to reply to him, he said.

But Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told CNN a different side of the story.

Kelly stated that the family ran out of appeals to remedy their solution, their requests were denied five or six times over the past two years, prior to the Trump administration.

"You can't pick and choose the laws that you obey," Kelly said to CNN. "And I can't pick and choose the laws that we're by law required to enforce. ... We had a court order to remove her and we did."

Speaking in response to a reporter's question at an event on Central America's future at a Washington think tank, Kelly said members of Congress who have a problem with the country's immigration laws should change them.

But Casey isn't taking no for an answer, "There's no reason why the administration, Homeland Security, couldn't have come up with a better solution here," Casey said. "So, I'm going to be continuing to follow this case to make sure we do everything we can to protect this mother and her child, even though they've already been deported."Casey implored the government to find a way to bring the mother and son back.

But ICE officials say that Casey's claims are not representative of the woman's actual case, and reiterate that she ran out of legal options, "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 Liz Johnson, assistant director at ICE.

But Casey says he won't give up without a fight, "I'm getting to put as much pressure as I can on the current administration," Casey said. "Homeland security means security of the homeland - documented or otherwise."

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