Judge Threatened Jeff Sessions with Contempt if Failed Asylum Seekers Sent Home

Judge blocks asylum seekers from deportation

The judge, Emmet Sullivan, said it was unacceptable the government had deported the family and threatened to hold the USA attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in contempt if the situation was not resolved. "This is pretty outrageous that someone seeking justice in USA court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?" the Washington Post reports him telling the government attorneys.

"We are thrilled the stay of removal was issued but sickened that the government deported two of our clients - a mom and her little girl - in the early morning hours", said the ACLU's lead attorney on the case, Jennifer Chang Newell.

"This is pretty outrageous", Sullivan said.

The case is Grace v. Sessions, 1:18-cv-01853, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"I'm not happy about this at all", he continued, adding it was "not acceptable".

Carmen is one of several witnesses suing the Trump administration after Sessions announced in June that domestic and gang violence were not credible asylum claims. It challenges a recent policy change by the Department of Justice that aims to expedite the removal of asylum seekers who fail to prove their cases and excludes domestic and gang violence as justifications for granting asylum in the United States.

Upon hearing the news, Sullivan ordered their flight returned and suggested that Sessions could be held in contempt of court, according to the ACLU.

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.

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But during a recess in the proceedings Thursday, she got an email from attorneys on the ground in Texas that her client, known by the pseudonym Carmen, and Carmen's daughter had been taken from their detention center that morning and deported.

If the two aren't returned, the judge said in an order, he would require Sessions, the head of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review to appear in court to explain why they shouldn't be held in contempt.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the judge's threat of contempt. Other co-workers at her factory had been killed by the gang.

The Trump administration's position is that many asylum-seekers are gaming the system by exaggerating their fear of returning home.

In changing the standards for seeking asylum, Sessions said in June that 'the mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes, such as domestic violence or gang violence, or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, can not itself establish an asylum claim'. Neither is a "credible fear of persecution".

But Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials, could face consequences for the government's handling of the case if the judge believes they did not fully comply with his orders.

The lawsuit Carmen is involved in included 12 migrants total, three of whom are children. The reforms are already working to reduce the previously skyrocketing number of illegal aliens claiming to be "asylum seekers" after being caught by Border Patrol, but they have sent the open-borders left into a rage.

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