Appeals court denies asylum to 28 Central American mothers held in Pa.

    A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has upheld a ruling that would send 28 immigrant mothers and their children back to Central America, despite the women’s claims they would be persecuted upon return.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Monday denied asylum to the women from Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador, saying their fears they’d face violence at home were “not credible.”

    Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote in the decision that the justices are “sympathetic to the plight” of the petitioners. He said, however, that since the women arrived in the country “surreptitiously” they aren’t entitled to constitutional protections.

    The detainees came over the border in Texas but are being held at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.

    American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt said they’ll appeal.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.