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Judge orders migrants returned to USA in midst of deportation flight

11 August, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Judge blocks asylum seekers from deportation

"That someone seeking justice in the US 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".

If they fail to comply, the judge said, Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior Homeland Security officials would have to convince him not to hold them in contempt of court. "The level of disrespect for the judiciary, the unprofessionalism of the Justice Department attorneys and the just plain stupidity of the litigation strategy under Jeff Sessions is just simply stunning".

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Paul Schmidt, who served as the agency's acting General Counsel during the early and mid 1980s, told NBC's Katy Tur on Friday that Sessions should be held in contempt of court over the case of a migrant family that was deported despite their asylum proceedings still ongoing.

The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of 12 people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala - three of them children - all who failed their initial "credible fear" interviews, the Post reported. The ACLU lead attorney, Jennifer Chang Newell, received email during the hearing that alerted her to the active deportation of the pair. "We will not rest until our clients are returned to safety".

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He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable. Some of Carmen's friends and co-workers have already been murdered, the ACLU claims.

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 USA, and an immigration judge upheld that decision. The immigrants were deported ahead of a scheduled hearing with the court on Thursday.

The ACLU had asked that its plaintiffs be allowed to remain in the USA while the case proceeded.

In June, Sessions reversed a long-standing policy that considered asylum cases on the basis of gang and domestic violence, and now allows fast-track rejections and deportations if those are the only factors involved.

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.

Migrants must show they have a fear of persecution in their native country based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a "particular social group" - and in the past the latter included victims of domestic violence and other abuse, the Post said. If so, they get that chance; if not, they are quickly removed from the United States, according to the ACLU.

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