Judge Halts Deportation, Warns Jeff Sessions

The ACLU is suing Jeff Sessions over the Trump administration’s asylum policies

A federal judge halted a deportation its tracks on Thursday after learning the mother-daughter pair being sent back to El Salvador was in the middle of their asylum appeal trial.

Sullivan called the deportation "outrageous" and questioned why "someone seeking justice in USA court". would be "spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?"

The ACLU asked for a delay on deportation for Carmen and her daughter, as well as 10 other people included the lawsuit who were denied asylum.

In the event that the government does not "fully comply" with Sullivan's order to return Carmen and her daughter from El Salvador, the judge said Sessions, Nielsen, Cissna and McHenry must appear in court to "SHOW CAUSE why they should not be held in CONTEMPT OF COURT".

The lawsuit brought by the ACLU is challenging a recent decision by Sessions to make it almost impossible for victims of domestic violence and gangs to qualify for asylum in the US.

According to the lawsuit, the migrant mother, known under the alias "Carmen", came to the USA with her young daughter after two decades of sexual abuse from her husband and death threats from a local gang in her native El Salvador.

It was a dramatic illustration of the Trump administration's zeal for deportations running up against an increasing number of court challenges against its immigration policies.

The ACLU was in court today successfully seeking an emergency stay of removal for plaintiffs - many of whom are women fleeing extreme sexual and gang violence. An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-represented mother-daughter pair, caught crossing the southern border, were being moved in preparation for removal hundreds of miles away in Texas.

"The whole point of this was to get a ruling from the court before they could be placed in danger", ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang Newell said.

The lawsuit, involving a dozen asylum-seekers - Carmen and her daughter, the eight still in custody, and four others who have also already been removed - was filed Tuesday by the ACLU and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

A Department of Homeland Security official said the agency was complying with the court's order, according to NBC News. Several co-workers at the factory where Carmen worked had been murdered, and her husband is also abusive, the paper added, citing records.

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 U.S., and an immigration judge upheld that decision. As part of that decision, Sessions said gang and domestic violence in most cases would no longer be grounds for receiving asylum.

During the hearing, the judge ordered a temporary stay on deporting the nine women and three children who filed the lawsuit, according to a court filing.

Two of the children and their mothers were deported before the suit was filed.

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