US Judge Halts Deportation, Threatens Sessions with Contempt

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes a point during his speech at the Western Conservative Summit, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Denver. Photo: AP/David Zalubowski
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes a point during his speech at the Western Conservative Summit, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Denver.

August 09, 2018 10:08 PM

A federal judge on Thursday halted a deportation in progress and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if the mother and daughter weren't returned to the U.S.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington learned in court that the two plaintiffs in a lawsuit before him were being removed from the United States and confirmed later that they were on a plane headed to Central America. He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable.

Advertisement

RELATED: Judge Says Reuniting Families is Government's Sole Burden

If they fail to comply, the judge said, Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior Homeland Security officials would have to convince him not to hold them in contempt of court.

The Department of Homeland Security was bringing the pair back to the United States on Thursday after the plane landed in El Salvador. The mother and daughter did not disembark in the Central American country.

RELATED: US, ACLU Divide on How to Reunify Separated Families

"This is pretty outrageous," Sullivan said in court, according to The Washington Post. "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," the judge said, according to the Post. "This is not acceptable."

RELATED: Immigrants Held in US Prison Sue Over Harsh Conditions

The woman — identified in court as Carmen — is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this week against the administration by the American Civil Liberties Union over efforts to prevent immigrants from seeking asylum because of domestic and gang violence in their home countries. The lawsuit asks the judge to invalidate Sessions' June 11 decision to restrict the kinds of cases that qualify for asylum.

The judge imposed a halt Thursday on deporting Carmen, her daughter and six other plaintiffs. The Justice Department declined to comment on the judge's threat of contempt.

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Advertisement

Blaine police searching for 'armed and intoxicated' male

Minneapolis police investigate report of woman being forced into vehicle, assaulted and shot

Postal worker charged with firing shots at Federal Reserve Bank to enter guilty plea

Delta to offer new service to Mexico City

St. Louis Park council to vote on suspension of crime-free, drug-free ordinance

Senate report: Russia social media influence efforts ongoing

Advertisement