"This is pretty outrageous that someone seeking justice in USA court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?" the Washington Post reports him telling the government attorneys. The plane landed in El Salvador, but Carmen and her daughter "never got off" and were flown back to the US, according to NBC News.
DC District Judge Emmet Sullivan then blocked the administration from deporting the two plaintiffs while they are fighting for their right to stay in the United States - reportedly excoriating the administration and threatening to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt.
A weekly recap of the top political stories from The Globe, sent right to your email. They informed Sullivan, who called the move "pretty outrageous". "She fled and came to the U.S. She was put in expedited removal without actually having a court hearing", said attorney Jennifer Chang-Newell.
"I'm not happy about this at all", Sullivan added, the paper said. "This is not acceptable".
In June, Sessions reversed a long-standing policy that considered asylum cases on the basis of gang and domestic violence, and now allows fast-track rejections and deportations if those are the only factors involved.
The ACLU said the government had on Wednesday assured the court that no plaintiff in the case would be deported before midnight on Thursday.
Attorneys for the civil rights organization and the U.S. Department of Justice had agreed to delay removal proceedings for Carmen until 11:59 p.m. Thursday so they could argue the matter in court.
But while in court arguing that deportation of their plaintiffs should be delayed, ACLU attorneys learned on Thursday that Carmen and her daughter were already in the process of being deported. 'I'm also directing the government to turn that plane around, either now or when it lands.
In changing the standards for seeking asylum, Sessions said in June that 'the mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes, such as domestic violence or gang violence, or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, can not itself establish an asylum claim'.
As Carmen is with a child, and, therefore, can not be held in a typical facility for adults or separated from her child under current policy, it is likely they will be released into the American interior, free, despite having failed their credible fear determination.
"In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, the Trump administration is putting these women and children in grave danger of being raped, beaten, or killed", her statement read.
The lawsuit Carmen is involved in included 12 migrants total, three of whom are children. None of the adults had been separated from their children as part of President Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy.
The ACLU is using Carmen's story and the similar experiences of the other immigrants to challenge Sessions' ruling on asylum.