Judge orders asylum-seeking mother, daughter returned to U.S.

Last Updated Aug 9, 2018 6:53 PM EDT

A judge in a Washington D.C. threatened to hold the attorney general and other Trump administration officials in contempt for deporting a mother and her daughter against the judges' orders. The case is part of an ongoing legal battle over asylum claims.

In his written order, District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan scolded Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ordered the government to "return Carmen and her daughter to the United States."

Carmen is a pseudonym for the woman who, along with her daughter, was seeking asylum because of domestic abuse in El Salvador. The ACLU was arguing their case in court and believed the Trump administration had agreed to keep them in the U.S. until midnight tonight.

"Carmen's husband routinely raped and treated her as property, even after they live apart from each other. 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.

Sullivan called the deportation "outrageous" and questioned why "someone seeking justice in U.S. court" ... would be "spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?''

Sources say the government complied with the judges' order and Carmen and her daughter never got off the plane in El Salavador. Instead they were flown back to Houston.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department made it more difficult for immigrants claiming to be victims of domestic or gang violence to get asylum.

"People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border, we need legality and integrity in our immigration system," Sessions said on May 7.

The Department of Justice is not commenting on the case nor the judges' threat to hold the attorney general in contempt. Carmen and her daughter will go back to an ICE facility in Dilly, Texas. Their legal case will continue with their future in this country hanging in the balance.