READ: ACLU Tweets ‘Judge Blocked the Government From Deporting Our Clients’


A federal judge in Washington D.C. threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court on Thursday after he learned the Department of Justice tried to deport a mother and daughter who were awaiting a court date for an appeal of a prior deportation order.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan scolded Sessions, saying the decision to subvert due process was “outrageous.”

The ACLU announced Sullivan’s ruling on Twitter.

Sessions and the Justice Department are the defendants in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this week, which alleges the federal government’s new policy of rejecting asylum claims based on domestic and gang violence is “blocking thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the United States,” according to the Washington Post.

“Without an injunction, Plaintiffs and thousands of other immigrants like them desperately seeking safety will be unlawfully deported to places where they fear they will be raped, kidnapped, beaten, and killed,” the complaint says.

The woman in question, “Carmen,” had her case delayed until 11:59 P.M. Thursday night, but was escorted onto a plane along with her daughter Thursday morning in San Antonio, Texas to be thrown out of the country.

“This is pretty outrageous,” Sullivan said. “That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?”

The judge added:

I’m not happy about this at all… this is not acceptable.

Sullivan then ordered Sessions to “turn the plane around” as part of his decision to stay Carmen’s removal. Justice Department attorney Erez Reuveni told the court he didn’t know where Carmen and her daughter were or whether they had yet left the United States.

Lawyers for the federal government later confirmed the pair were on their way to El Salvador and that the plane had been instructed to return, per the court’s order.

The ACLU said the “disregard for commitments made to the court and the life or death circumstances that these immigrant women and children are facing is beyond unacceptable.”

The ACLU responded to the court’s decision and blasted the Justice Department for its treatment of asylum-seekers.

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