Read a Senator’s Desperate Attempt to Stop the Deportation of a Mom and Her 5-Year-Old

Their removal could “very likely lead to their death.”

Luis Romero/AP

“It’s urgent,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted just after 9 o’clock Wednesday morning. A Honduran family—a mother and her five-year-old son—were about to be deported after seeking asylum in the United States. Back in their native country, the woman had witnessed the murder of her cousin and was pursued by gangs. She fled with her son and arrived at the southern border more than a year and a half ago and was detained.

“This child and his mother fled their home country in fear of their lives, and face a real possibility of violence in being returned there,” Casey wrote in a letter calling on President Donald Trump to intervene. He continued tweeting about the case, but later in the day, he received “last word” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement: The family was gone.

The family’s attorney, Bridget Cambria, told NBC Philadelphia that she was in court arguing their case before a federal judge Wednesday morning when she was notified that they had been deported. The child might have been eligible for special immigrant juvenile status, which would have protected him from deportation and may have allowed him to apply for legal permanent residency.

The mother and son had been held for more than 16 months in a detention center for immigrant families in Berks County, Pennsylvania, after being detained at the southern border in 2015. Families held at the facility have gone on hunger strike to protest being confined indefinitely while they waited for courts to decide whether they would be granted asylum.

Here’s Casey’s daylong tweetstorm on the case and his attempt to get White House officials to stop the deportation: