U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold Sessions in contempt Thursday after realizing that the Trump administration had attempted to remove a woman and her daughter from the country while their appeal was ongoing.
District Judge Emmet Sullivan had been assured the pair would not be deported to El Salvador before midnight Thursday. They had sought asylum in the USA after claiming they feared for their life in their homeland.
"This is pretty outrageous", Sullivan said. "This is not acceptable".
"We are complying with the court's order, and upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs will not disembark and will be promptly returned to the United States", ICE spokeswoman Justine Whelan told the Washington Post.
The dramatic hearing was part of a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed on Tuesday, alleging the Trump administration was unfairly preventing thousands of migrants fleeing violence in Central America from seeking asylum in the US.
This email will be delivered to your inbox once a day in the morning. He also threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt.
Sullivan agreed with the ACLU that the immigrants they were representing in a federal lawsuit should not be deported while their cases were pending.More news: Pres. Trump Sends Single Tweet Condemning Racism On Charlottesville Anniversary
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The judge imposed a halt Thursday on deporting Carmen, her daughter and six other plaintiffs.
"We also have dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum, providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process", Sessions said past year.
The judge ordered the government to immediately return Carmen and her daughter to the U.S. If the government does not fully comply with the order, the judge said he would order officials to appear in court to explain why they should not be held in contempt. Several coworkers at the factory where Carmen worked had been murdered, and her husband is also abusive, the records state. The immigrants were deported ahead of a scheduled hearing with the court on Thursday.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Sullivan's order meant the taxpayer wound up paying for a needless round-trip flight.
Mr Sessions introduced tighter immigration rules in June and victims of domestic abuse and gang violence no longer generally qualify for U.S. asylum. Critics have blasted the new policy as an affront to human rights and a systemic attack on immigrant women.
"Despite asylum officers finding that their accounts were truthful, they. ultimately denied them asylum protection because they did not have a 'credible fear of persecution'".
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.