Judge Calls Government’s Deportation of Mom and Child Before Hearing ‘Unacceptable.’ Lawsuit Brought by ACLU and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

August 9, 2018

WASHINGTON — A federal court has blocked the deportation of immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality who brought a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

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. New “expedited removal” policies put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions instruct asylum officers to “generally” deny such claims, undermining the fundamental human rights of women and contradicting decades of settled domestic and international law.

During today’s hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, word came that the government had put a mother and her daughter who are plaintiffs in this case on a deportation flight to Central America — despite assurances in open court just yesterday that no plaintiff would be deported before midnight tonight.

The judge expressed outrage, ordering the plane be turned around, suggesting the government be held in contempt starting with the attorney general, and saying it was “unacceptable” that someone in pursuit of justice who has alleged a credible fear in a U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys argue for her in court. The judge also issued the stay from the bench.

Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, argued today’s case and had this reaction:

“In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, the Trump administration is putting these women and children in grave danger of being raped, beaten, or killed. 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. We will not rest until our clients are returned to safety.”

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/grace-v-sessions

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