Judge Threatens Sessions Over Two Deportations

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

So far, there's been no reaction from the Justice Department.

An angry federal judge on Thursday ordered a plane carrying a mother and daughter deported by the Trump administration to turn around and head back to the USA because they were plaintiffs in a lawsuit he was hearing over asylum restrictions.

The judge imposed a halt Thursday on deporting Carmen, her daughter and six other plaintiffs.

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

"This is pretty outrageous", the judge said.

Recently, Sessions changed the policy on allowing victims of domestic abuse and gang violence to qualify for asylum.

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.

A federal court has blocked the deportation of immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality who brought a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

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

Washington DC District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said that it was unacceptable that people claiming asylum had been removed while lawyers argued their case. Some of Carmen's coworkers had already been murdered and her husband was abusive.

"In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, the Trump administration is putting these women and children in grave danger of being raped, beaten, or killed", Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney of ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project who argued the case in court said in a statement.

"It must have been absolutely terrifying for them to think they would be returning to a country where they raised very credible claims of persecution and death", said Eunice Lee, who is co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case.

Law&Crime reached out to the Justice Department for comment, but they have yet to respond.

Under the fast-track removal system, created in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, asylum seekers are interviewed by an asylum officer to determine whether they have a "credible fear" of returning home.

Asylum seekers previously had to show that the government in their native country was "unable or unwilling" to protect them.

During the hearing, the judge ordered a temporary stay on deporting the nine women and three children who filed the lawsuit, according to a court filing.

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