On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after it was revealed that the Trump administration attempted to transfer a woman and her daughter out of the country… while an appeal hearing for their deportation was underway.
The implications for the federal judge’s ruling will impact others as well. Judge Sullivan granted a request from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for an emergency order to halt the so-called “expedited” removal of immigrants who enter the United States in order to seek asylum from domestic abuse, gang violence, etc. after he discovered that the government had put a plaintiff in an asylum appeals case and her daughter on that flight to Central America. Sessions had previously announced that the United States via the Justice Department would no longer allow asylum entry for reasons such as domestic abuse or threats of gang violence.
According to The Washington Post, Sullivan said, “This is pretty outrageous. That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?
“I’m not happy about this at all,” he continued. “This is not acceptable.”
After being informed by lead ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang Newell that the mother and daughter were already on a flight, Sullivan granted the ACLU’s request to delay deportations for Carmen and the other plaintiffs until the lawsuit is decided, and then ordered the government to “turn the plane around.”
Later that day, a Homeland Security official said:
“In compliance with the court’s order, upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs did not disembark and were promptly returned to the United States.”