Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Judge orders asylum-seeking mother, daughter returned to U.S.

Judge orders asylum-seeking mother, daughter returned to U.S.

Sullivan said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable and that Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should argue why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court if they failed to comply.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said the government appeared to have "spirited away" the woman and her child. They had sought asylum in the US after claiming they feared for their life in their homeland.

The suit also says asylum adjudicators are required to ignore federal appellate decisions that conflict with the new credible fear policies, "thus purporting to make the immigration authorities the ultimate arbiters of the law".

According to the lawsuit, the migrant mother, known under the alias "Carmen", came to the United States with her young daughter after two decades of sexual abuse from her husband and death threats from a local gang in her native El Salvador. The Justice Department said they would be flown back to Texas and returned to the detention center after landing, the ACLU said.

"In compliance with the court's order, upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs did not disembark and were promptly returned to the United States", a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official said Thursday evening, the paper reported.

He also ordered the government to stop removing people from the country who are seeking protection from gang and domestic violence.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys and the Justice Department agreed to delay removal proceedings for the mother - named only "Carmen" on documents - and her child until 11:59 p.m. Thursday so the matter could be argued in court, the Post said.

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The lawsuit brought by the ACLU is challenging a recent decision by Sessions to make it almost impossible for victims of domestic violence and gangs to qualify for asylum in the US.

"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. Some of Carmen's friends and co-workers have already been murdered, the ACLU claims.

In June, the Trump administration determined that fleeing domestic violence and gang violence would no longer be accepted as a means for refuge in the United States.

To qualify for asylum, migrants must show that 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", a category that in the past has included victims of domestic violence and other abuse.

During the hearing, the judge ordered a temporary stay on deporting the nine women and three children who filed the lawsuit, according to a court filing.

The ACLU is using Carmen's story and the similar experiences of the other immigrants to challenge Sessions' ruling on asylum.

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