'Turn the Plane Around': Judge Stops Deportation During Emergency Hearing

11 August, 2018, 02:57 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Judge orders government to turn around deportation plane

Judge Emmet Sullivan said it was "unacceptable" for the government to deport a mother and daughter during a court hearing on their request for asylum and ordered their plane to return to the USA immediately.

Under a court order issued on Thursday, those eight asylum-seekers, including the mother and daughter, will be allowed to remain in the USA while Sullivan considers the case.

"I'm not happy about this at all, " the judge said, according to the Post. "This is not acceptable".

Sullivan called the deportation "outrageous" and questioned why "someone seeking justice in US court". would be "spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?" The ACLU lead attorney, Jennifer Chang Newell, received email during the hearing that alerted her to the active deportation of the pair.

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.

That's when Judge Sullivan gave the order to "turn that plane around" and stop the deportation.

Justice Department attorney Erez Reuveni said he had not been told the deportation was happening that morning, and could not confirm the whereabouts of Carmen and her daughter.


The ACLU said later that government attorneys confirmed to them after the hearing that the pair was on a flight en route to El Salvador.

President Donald Trump and top officials have criticized existing protections for asylum-seekers, arguing they allow too many people to stay in the US under the claim they suffer persecution at home.

'Upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs didn't disembark and are now en route back to the United States.' the official said while they were in mid-air.

A Homeland Security Department official later told The Wall Street Journal that hours later the mother-daughter duo were on American soil again.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on the deportation case when reached by The Hill. "Despite asylum officers finding that their accounts were truthful, they. ultimately denied them asylum protection because they did not have a 'credible fear of persecution'". "In June 2018, she and her daughter escaped, seeking asylum in the United States".

The Trump administration's position is that many asylum-seekers are gaming the system by exaggerating their fear of returning home. Those who pass get a full hearing in immigration court.

Recently, Sessions changed the policy on allowing victims of domestic abuse and gang violence to qualify for asylum. Sessions argued that a lack of policing in a given country "cannot establish as asylum claim".

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