Judge becomes irate over immigrant plaintiffs’ deportation
Texas residents who follow the news are likely aware that the Trump administration’s immigration policies are facing a number of court challenges. One of these cases, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of eight immigrants facing deportation, does not seem to be going well for the government. According to a number of media outlets, the federal judge hearing the case became visibly agitated and had trouble composing himself when he learned on Aug. 8 that two of the immigrants named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit had been deported despite his strict instructions to the contrary.
Government attorneys are said to have assured the judge on Aug. 7 that none of the plaintiffs would be deported while the case was still being litigated, which may explain the judge’s dismay at finding out less than 24 hours later that two of them, a woman and her daughter, had been put on a plane to El Salvador. The judge then made it very clear that government figures including Attorney General Jeff Sessions could face contempt charges if the woman and girl were not returned without delay.
These threats appear to have been taken seriously because reports indicate that the plane carrying the two immigrants was turned around and sent back to the United States upon landing in El Salvador. Within hours of the judge’s outburst, the immigrant plaintiffs had been returned to an immigration detention facility in Texas according to reports.
Many of the immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are fleeing lawlessness and violence in their home countries and live in fear of being ordered to return. Attorneys with experience in this area may seek to prevent immigrants in such situations from being deported by filing asylum petitions on their behalf, and they could also help them to gather the evidence needed to establish that their fears are genuine.