Two asylum-seeking immigrants who were deported from Texas were ordered returned by a federal judge on Aug. 9. The incident occurred during a hearing in a case that involves a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union to a decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that affects whether people can seek asylum because of the gang or domestic violence.
The ACLU is representing several immigrants in the case including the woman and her daughter who were deported. According to the ACLU, they had lived through violent sexual abuse from the woman’s husband and threats from a gang. The government had found that they did not pass the test for credible fear that would allow them to remain in the country. However, the government had pledged it would not deport anyone until midnight of the day of the hearing at the earliest. An ACLU attorney received an email during a court recess that the woman and her daughter had been placed on a plane that was taking them back to El Salvador.
The judge in the case threatened to charge a number of government officials with contempt of court if they did not comply with his order to return the woman and her daughter. The woman and her daughter were returned.
People who are facing persecution in their home country because of their religion, nationality, membership in a social group or race may be allowed to remain in the country. However, many laws dealing with asylum and immigration are under challenge or review and are therefore in flux. People who are seeking asylum or whose loved ones are may want to contact an attorney who can keep them informed about the current legal situation and what changes might be ahead.
Source: CNN, “Judge blocks administration from deporting asylum seekers — but the government already had two on a plane“, Tal Kopan, Aug. 9, 2018