While lawyers argued a migrant mother and daughter's asylum case in Washington, D.C., the pair was apparently being deported from Texas.
Carmen, as she's known in court papers, is one of 12 plaintiffs in an ACLU court case challenging recent changes to America's asylum policy, The Washington Post reports. Two of the plaintiffs were already deported, and Carmen was about to be the next — if the federal judge hearing her case didn't intervene.
During a court recess Thursday, ACLU attorneys learned Carmen and her daughter were sent from a Texas detention center to fly out of the San Antonio airport at 8:15 that morning. The judge quickly ordered the Trump administration to "turn the plane around" and, if it didn't, threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court. He went on to call it "outrageous" that "someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her,” the Post reports.
Sessions announced changes to America's asylum policy in June, removing gang and domestic violence as "credible fear" reasons to grant migrants asylum in the U.S. The 12 plaintiffs in this ACLU case all failed "credible fear" interviews and were either being detained or already deported, per the Post. Lawyers weren't sure if Carmen and her daughter had already left the U.S. when the judge granted their stay.