We haven’t heard the DOJ’s side of this, but it sounds like they may have been trying to deport a woman and her daughter while their case was in litigation before a judge, who had ordered the expedited deportation be halted:
THE HILL – A federal judge on Thursday threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after discovering that the Trump administration attempted to transfer a woman and her daughter out of the country while an appeal hearing for their deportation was underway.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan granted the American Civil Liberty Union’s (ACLU) request for an emergency order to halt the expedited removal of immigrants seeking asylum from domestic abuse and gang violence after he learned the government had put a plaintiff in the case and her daughter on a flight to Central America.
The ACLU, which is challenging Sessions’s decision to no longer grant asylum to the victims of domestic abuse and gang violence, said the government had assured the court on Wednesday no plaintiff in the case would be deported before midnight.
“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.”
The woman, identified in court papers as “Carmen,” is a plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit filed this week against Sessions. The organization is suing Sessions over his recent decision to stop granting asylum for people who have faced domestic and gang violence.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and attorneys for the ACLU had reportedly agreed to postpone the hearings for Carmen until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday in order for the parties to argue the case in court.
But ACLU attorneys were told that Carmen and her daughter had been taken from a family detention center in Dilley, Texas, and may have been headed to the airport in San Antonio on Thursday morning for a flight out of the U.S., The Post reported.
The newspaper reported that Sullivan, an appointee of former President Clinton, mandated that the government “turn the plane around” after ruling in favor of the ACLU’s petition to stay removal.
An attorney for the DOJ, Erez Reuveni, did not confirm to The Post if Carmen and her daughter had left the country.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The Trump administration isn’t known to flout the courts like the Obama administration did, which was held in contempt several times. So I’m gonna suggest to you that this may have been a mixup or a mistake.
We haven’t heard from the DOJ on this yet, but when we do I’ll bring it to you here.