Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Judge halts deportation, issues threat to Sessions

Judge halts deportation, issues threat to Sessions

"I'm not happy about this at all", he continued.

If the two aren't returned, the judge said in an order, he would require Sessions, the head of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review to appear in court to explain why they shouldn't be held in contempt.

But Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials, could face consequences for the government's handling of the case if the judge believes they did not fully comply with his orders.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department made it more hard for immigrants claiming to be victims of domestic or gang violence to get asylum.

But while in court arguing that deportation of their plaintiffs should be delayed, ACLU attorneys learned on Thursday that Carmen and her daughter were already in the process of being deported.

In a shocking revelation in a court in Washington, D.C., the ACLU said two asylum seekers they represented had been put on a plane in defiance of the Department of Justice's promises to a federal judge.

Carmen fled El Salvador in June with her daughter, claiming they received violent threats from gang members.

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"This is pretty outrageous", U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said, according to the Washington Post. The group excoriated the administration for the new policy.

'Upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs didn't disembark and are now en route back to the United States.' the official said while they were in mid-air.

Carmen and her daughter were not separated when they crossed the border, but their chances of remaining in the US were slim after she failed a "credible fear" test created to determine whether her asylum claim could be honored. "It's outrageous to me that while we were working around the clock, filing briefings for this case's early morning hearing, that people in the government were actively arranging for Carmen's deportation". Other co-workers at her factory had been killed by the gang.

The Justice Department declined a request for comment.

The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of 12 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - three of them children - all of whom failed their initial "credible fear" interviews.

From there, Sessions has argued, asylum-seekers are typically released into the interior of the country while they await hearings, often years away. "Despite asylum officers finding that their accounts were truthful, they. ultimately denied them asylum protection because they did not have a 'credible fear of persecution'". But now they have to show that the government "condones" the violence or "is completely helpless" to protect them, the lawsuit says.

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