United States migrants: Judge orders deportation plane turnaround

The ACLU is suing Jeff Sessions over the Trump administration’s asylum policies

The ACLU is suing Jeff Sessions over the Trump administration’s asylum policies

A federal judge stopped an in-progress deportation Thursday and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after learning a plane carrying a mother and daughter was airborne and headed to El Salvador - all while a hearing appealing their deportations was taking place, the Washington Post reported.

"This is pretty outrageous", said U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. "She fled and came to the U.S. She was put in expedited removal without actually having a court hearing", said attorney Jennifer Chang-Newell.

"I'm not happy about this at all", Sullivan said. "This is not acceptable".

"Upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs did not disembark and are now en route back to the United States", the department said in an emailed statement. By Thursday evening, the mother and her daughter had landed in El Salvador.

The judge's decision on Thursday, however, means plaintiffs can remain in the U.S., where they are being held in detention facilities, while Sullivan considers the case.

This email will be delivered to your inbox once a day in the morning.

Judge Sullivan had strong words for Sessions when he found out about this, and even threatened to hold him in contempt of court.

The lawsuit, involving a dozen asylum-seekers - Carmen and her daughter, the eight still in custody, and four others who have also already been removed - was filed Tuesday by the ACLU and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. "We will not rest until our clients are returned to safety". He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable. Several co-workers at the factory where Carmen worked had been murdered, and her husband is also abusive, the paper added, citing records.

Under the fast-track removal system, created in 1996, asylum seekers are interviewed to determine whether they have a "credible fear" of returning home. Those who pass get a full hearing in immigration court.

Immigration activists hold signs against family separation during a rally to protest against the Trump Administration's immigration policy outside the White House in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2018.

The mother and daughter were ordered to be deported by the DOJ after Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a decision to no longer include domestic and gang violence as reasons for people to qualify for asylum in the United States. Critics have blasted the new policy as an affront to human rights and a systemic attack on immigrant women.

But at the border, the government determined after interviewing her that she did not meet the "credible fear" threshold required to pursue an asylum claim in the USA, and an immigration judge upheld that decision.

The Trump administration has argued that traffickers see the "credible fear" test as a loophole that allows them to get their human cargo into the United States, so long as they can memorize the right things to say.

President Donald Trump and top officials have criticized existing protections for asylum-seekers, arguing they allow too many people to stay in the US under the claim they suffer persecution at home.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.