A federal judge in Washington halted a deportation in progress Thursday and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after learning that the Trump administration started to remove a woman and her daughter while a court hearing appealing their deportations was underway.
“This is pretty outrageous,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said after being told about the removal. “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 continued. “This is not acceptable.”
The woman, known in court papers as Carmen, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union. It challenges a recent policy change by the Justice Department 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.
And let’s remember that the policy he was trying to do an end run around the law to apply in this case is also terrible:
Carmen fled El Salvador with her daughter in June, according to court records, fearing they would be killed by gang members who had demanded she pay them each month or suffer consequences. Several co-workers at the factory where Carmen worked had been murdered, and her husband is also abusive, the records state.
Under the fast-track removal system, created in 1996, asylum seekers are interviewed to determine whether they have a “credible fear” of returning home. Those who pass get a full hearing in immigration court.
n June, Sessions vacated a 2016 Board of Immigration Appeals court case that granted asylum to an abused woman from El Salvador. As part of that decision, Sessions said gang and domestic violence in most cases would no longer be grounds for receiving asylum.
“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, cannot itself establish an asylum claim,” Sessions wrote at the time.
The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of 12 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — three of them children — all of whom failed their initial “credible fear” interviews.
Sending innocent people to their avoidable deaths to own the libs is Republican policy now.