US judge halts mother-daughter deportation: rights group

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WASHINGTON, Aug 10, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A Washington federal judge halted the
deportation of a mother and daughter Thursday — but threatened to hold
Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court after removal proceedings
began amid their appeal, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The woman and her daughter were part of a group of immigrants who had fled
“extreme sexual and gang violence” in Central America, according to the ACLU.

The rights group and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed a
lawsuit on their behalf Tuesday to challenge the deportation, which prompted
a hearing held Thursday.

The ACLU said the judge blocked the deportation while the case was pending.
But, “while in court, we found out that the government had deported a client
and her young child just hours before, putting their lives at risk,” the
group said in a series of tweets.

“This directly contradicts the government’s commitment to the court that NO
ONE would be removed until tomorrow at the earliest.”

The organization added that the judge ordered the government to “turn the
plane around” or face potential contempt proceedings, “starting with the
attorney general.”

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, quoted by the Washington Post, branded the
situation “outrageous.”

“That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her
attorneys are arguing for justice for her?” he said.

“I’m not happy about this at all.”