• Press Release

Secretary Kelly’s Cruel Remarks Attack the Rights of Asylum-Seekers

May 4, 2017

Secretary Kelly has commented on the deportation of a young mother and child who sought asylum from horrific violence and human rights abuses in Honduras.

According to Senator Bob Casey, the mother and child fled Honduras to the United States after witnessing the murder of a cousin and being pursued by gangs. They were held in an immigration detention facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania before being deported without ever presenting their full case in front of an immigration judge.

Amnesty International USA recently launched a campaign urging Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release several other families with young children being detained at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.

“Secretary Kelly’s heartless remarks are flat-out wrong and deeply offensive,” said Naureen Shah, senior director of campaigns at Amnesty International USA. “Central Americans fleeing violence and persecution have the right to seek asylum and have their cases heard in front of an immigration judge. It is inhumane to brush aside the horrific violence they face, and particularly cruel to disregard their claims based on bigoted notions of why people leave their home countries. Secretary Kelly has put the lives of a young mother and her child in jeopardy by sending them back to Honduras.”

The Northern Triangle, which includes El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras is an area widely recognized for its extreme levels of violence and insecurity, which Amnesty has also documented extensively.