WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday halted a deportation in progress and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if the mother and daughter weren’t returned to the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington learned in court that the two plaintiffs in a lawsuit before him were being removed from the United States and confirmed later that they were on a plane headed to Central America. He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable.
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If they fail to comply, the judge said, Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior Homeland Security officials would have to convince him not to hold them in contempt of court.
A federal judge recently threatened Jeff Sessions with contempt of court over a deportation case.
The Department of Homeland Security was bringing the pair back to the United States on Thursday after the plane landed in El Salvador. The mother and daughter did not disembark in the Central American country.
“This is pretty outrageous,” Sullivan said in court, according to The Washington Post. “That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?”