“This has gone on long enough,” Nelson said on the floor Tuesday. “If it is against the law to take a gun in even though he had already declared it at U.S. customs ... they could have released him and said don’t bring your grandfather’s gun into Mexico if that’s Mexican law.”

Nelson said Hammar’s friend was released but that Hammar is still being held and interrogated by the Mexican police, who sometimes even chain him to his bed.

Nelson said his phone calls to the U.S. Mexican ambassador are not being returned and that he will do everything he can to get Hammar back into the United States.

“I can’t get a returned call from the Mexican ambassador,” Nelson said. “You have made a bureaucratic mistake.”

Nelson warned that, because the Mexican government recently elected a new president, this is a time when the country should be building its relationship with the United States, not mistreating a former U.S. Marine.

Hammar, 27, was arrested on the Mexican side of the Los Indios Free Trade Bridge in August, but recent news reports have drawn more attention to his situation.