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Honduran mother separated from son to remain in custody

In the June 19, 2018 photo, The Federal Detention Center where Blanca Orantes-Lopez is held some 3,000 miles away from her child is seen behind a fence in SeaTac, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
In the June 19, 2018 photo, The Federal Detention Center where Blanca Orantes-Lopez is held some 3,000 miles away from her child is seen behind a fence in SeaTac, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

TACOMA – An immigration judge says a Salvadoran woman who was separated from her 8-year-old son when she entered the United States must remain in custody, prolonging her reunification wait.

Blanca Orantes-Lopez has been separated from her son, Abel Alexander, since late May when she was detained with 20 other asylum seekers at the Mexico-U.S. border.

In this file self portrait taken in Mexico in May 2018, Blanca Orantes-Lopez poses for a photo with her 8-year-old son, Abel Alexander, during the monthlong journey from their hometown of Puerto La Libertad, El Salvador, to the United States-Mexico border. (Associated Press)
In this file self portrait taken in Mexico in May 2018, Blanca Orantes-Lopez poses for a photo with her 8-year-old son, Abel Alexander, during the monthlong journey from their hometown of Puerto La Libertad, El Salvador, to the United States-Mexico border. (Associated Press)

Her attorney, Matt Adams, says she was in tears as Immigration Judge John G. Crews on Monday declined to release her from the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Adams said Crews cited new and more restrictive guidelines on asylum seekers from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Orantes-Lopez says she fled Honduras after a local gang demanded $5,000 for her son’s life.

Adams also say the judge did not consider that Orantes-Lopez is separated from her son, who is in federal custody in New York.


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