Published: Sat, August 11, 2018

Mother-daughter deportation halted by judge threatening to hold Sessions in contempt

Mother-daughter deportation halted by judge threatening to hold Sessions in contempt

The woman had fled to the U.S.to get away from an abusive husband.

"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.

He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable. The government indicated that Carmen and her daughter would not be deported before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday to allow Sullivan to hear arguments earlier in the day for why he should halt their removal, according to the court order.

"I'm not happy about this at all", Sullivan added, the paper said.

The mother and daughter were part of a case filed by the ACLU and the Centre for Gender and Refugee Studies on behalf of 12 mothers and children who said they had fled violence but were at risk of deportation.

The U.S. district judge, Emmet Sullivan, was presiding over a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on the deportation case when reached by The Hill. "In June 2018, she and her daughter escaped, seeking asylum in the United States". Those who pass get a full hearing in immigration court.

But Sessions dramatically limited that category in June, ruling out border-crossers who claim asylum because they are victims of domestic abuse or gang violence - unless the brutality originates with their home governments.


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 United States, and an immigration judge upheld that decision.

Sessions and other Trump appointees have dramatically shifted how the federal government speaks about asylum, going as far as to suggest in public communications the unproven claim that asylum is a routinely abused legal loophole.

"The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, can not itself establish an asylum claim", Sessions wrote at the time.

The lawsuit seeks a stay of removal for immigrants who, the ACLU argues, could face "grave danger of being raped, beaten, or killed" in their home countries if they are forced to return to them.

He reportedly also said Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be held in contempt of court for the deportation.

From there, Sessions has argued, asylum-seekers are typically released into the interior of the country while they await hearings, often years away.

The suit says asylum-seekers previously had to show that the government in their native country was "unable or unwilling" to protect them - but now they have to show the government "condones" the violence or "is completely helpless" to protect them.

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