The Department of Homeland Security reversed a pair of deportation orders on Thursday, returning a woman and her daughter to the United States after they landed in El Salvador. They had sought asylum in the USA after claiming they feared for their life in their homeland.
Named in the ACLU's lawsuit are Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Cissna and Executive Office for Immigration Review Director James McHenry.
According to the lawsuit, the migrant mother, known under the alias "Carmen", came to the United States with her young daughter after two decades of sexual abuse from her husband and death threats from a local gang in her native El Salvador.
The ACLU's lawsuit says Carmen and her daughter left their native El Salvador because they feared for their lives amid extortion attempts by gang members.
DHS did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment, but an official with the department said earlier in a statement, obtained by The Hill, that it was working to comply with the court's order to "turn the plane around". It challenges a recent tightening on standards for seeking US asylum, which makes it far more hard for those fleeing domestic or gang violence to win the right to remain in the United States.More news: Best meteor shower of 2018 visible over Middle TN this weekend
A district judge in Washington halted a deportation already in progress for an El Salvadoran mother, going by the pseudonym Carmen, and her daughter.
According to the Post, attorneys for Carmen learned "during a brief recess" in court that the woman and her daughter had been removed from a family detention center and were heading for an airport in San Antonio.
The ACLU said the government had on Wednesday assured the court that no plaintiff in the case would be deported before midnight on Thursday.
Earlier this year, the Justice Department made it more hard for immigrants claiming to be victims of domestic or gang violence to get asylum. Several coworkers at the factory where Carmen worked had been murdered, and her husband is also abusive, the records state.
Neither is a "credible fear of persecution".More news: In Australia were allowed to kill kangaroos
Others say they fled violent drug gangs who killed their relatives and, in one case, took over their homes. It argues the administration is wrongly rejecting asylum claims based on domestic abuse and gang violence. The case is part of an ongoing legal battle over asylum claims.
The ACLU lawsuit, Grace v. Sessions, was filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, D.C. The suit contends the new policies clash with protections created by Congress that establish an initial "credible fear" interview for asylum seekers.
'It's clear the administration's goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, ' she said.
From there, Sessions has argued, asylum-seekers are typically released into the interior of the country while they await hearings, often years away.More news: Mike Pence says Space Force will be established by 2020