This week, three Democrats representing South Florida in Congress–U.S. Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala and Debbie Wasserman Schultz–signed a letter led by U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, D-NJ, to the White House, condemning the Trump administration’s expulsion of Nicaraguan asylum-seekers and urging it to stop collaborating with the Ortega regime to deport Nicaraguans.
Sires leads the U.S. House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. Other signers included outgoing U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, who lead the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“As members of Congress committed to advancing a return to democracy in Nicaragua, we strongly condemn your administration’s recent decision to expel Nicaraguan activists who had reportedly been tortured by the regime of Daniel Ortega,” the members wrote President Donald Trump. “We call for any such future asylum requests to be considered, in accordance with U.S. law, and urge your administration to cease collaborating with the Ortega regime in deporting Nicaraguans.”
“The cases of Valeska Alemán, Moises Alberto Ortega Valdivia, and Jessica Carolina Pavon demonstrate the human cost of your administration’s four-year effort to dismantle the U.S. asylum system and use cruelty to try to deter prospective asylum-seekers, even if it means collaborating with repressive regimes and undermining U.S. foreign policy goals,” they added.
“Last year, a number of us voiced our concerns about your administration’s treatment of Nicaraguan asylum-seekers and urged you to cease collaborating with the Ortega regime in deporting Nicaraguans. In response, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed your administration’s partnership with the Nicaraguan government to deport Nicaraguans. What ICE did not address in its response is that deported Nicaraguans are often brought to detention facilities where they are interrogated by Ortega regime officials, as occurred in the cases of Ms. Alemán and Mr. Ortega Valdivia. We urge you to stop deporting Nicaraguan asylum-seekers back into the arms of Daniel Ortega,” they continued.
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