On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered that an immigrant mother and daughter be brought back to American soil after being deported to their country of origin, El Salvador.
The two, known publicly as Carmen and J.A.C.F., are just two of 12 plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The lawsuit was filed last week challenging Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to restrict immigrants from seeking asylum in the U.S.
Carmen left El Salvador along with her daughter after allegedly suffering two decades of sexual abuse by the husband and later receiving death threats from a gang with a reputation for violence.
Judge Sullivan learned that the two were on a flight back to Central America in the middle of the ACLU lawsuit’s hearing. In an open court, the government assured Sullivan that they would not deport any plaintiffs before Friday.
“This is pretty outrageous,” Sullivan said, 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,” he said. “This is not acceptable.”
Demanding the mother and daughter back to the U.S. wasn’t the only action Sullivan took. He also ordered Sessions, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other federal officials appear in the Washington, D.C., court to “SHOW CAUSE why they should not be held in CONTEMPT OF COURT”.
If the ACLU wins this lawsuit for refugees coming to America, Sessions’ asylum restrictions may be deemed unlawful.
[NBC News] [AP] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Phil Roeder]