Angered, Sullivan ordered the government to "return "Carmen" and her daughter to the United States FORTHWITH". The organization added that the judge ordered the government to "turn the plane around" or face potential contempt proceedings, "starting with the attorney general". In instructing the government to overrule the expulsion, he pressurized to hold government representatives from Attorney General Jeff Sessions on down in disrespect said a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
The woman - identified in court as Carmen - is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this week against the administration by the American Civil Liberties Union over efforts to prevent immigrants from seeking asylum because of domestic and gang violence in their home countries.
The Trump administration's position is that many asylum-seekers are gaming the system by exaggerating their fear of returning home.
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. The lawsuit says the police did not act when she contacted them.
They informed Sullivan, who called the move "pretty outrageous".
The ACLU asked for a delay on deportation for Carmen and her daughter, as well as 10 other people included the lawsuit who were denied asylum. After she left her husband, taking her daughter with her, she claimed gang members in town targeted her as a single mother, threatening to kill her and her daughter unless she paid them a monthly sum.
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The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of 12 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - three of them children - all of whom failed their initial "credible fear" interviews.
Immigrant-rights groups, though, say the tens of thousands of people lodging asylum claims are mostly deserving - and at the very least should get a more extensive hearing. 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 global law.
Asylum seekers previously had to show that the government in their native country was "unable or unwilling" to protect them. She also feared that she and her daughter would be killed by a violent gang that had recently held her at gunpoint to demand a "tax". An immigration judge, following the same ruling, reaffirmed the officer's decision in July.
"Somebody in pursuit of justice in a United States court is just - is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?" the judge reportedly said.
The lawsuit, known as Grace v. Sessions, argues that the policies cut against American and global laws that recognize gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum and that they gut the protections the process is supposed to offer.
Then on Wednesday, the ACLU got word that Carmen and her daughter were "subject to imminent removal as soon as 11:59 p.m. Thursday".