Salvadoran Woman and Child Unwittingly Put on Deportation Flight

(ESPAÑOL) A Salvadoran woman was put on a deportation flight by U.S. immigration officials despite government promises not to deport her, according to a statement in court documents filed Monday.

“While we were in the air, no one told me anything about what was happening,” said the woman, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Trump administration.

The woman and her daughter were at the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley when guards woke her up at 3 a.m., she said in her statement. She said she told officials she was not supposed to be deported because she was appealing her case. But officials told her to wake her daughter up and to pack her belongings and took her to the San Antonio airport and put her on a flight with other people being deported.

The woman was returned to the United States after an outraged U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan demanded last Thursday that immigration officials turn her plane around. He threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other administration officials in contempt of court if they didn’t get her back to the United States.

The woman and her daughter are plaintiffs in a case challenging the Trump administration’s changes to asylum regulations that Sullivan was holding a hearing on when the woman and her daughter — identified in the lawsuit as Carmen and J.A.C.F — were deported.

The changes removed domestic and gang violence as grounds for seeking asylum in the United States. Carmen’s attorneys have said she has been raped and stalked by her husband who has threatened her and preyed upon by gangs in her home country.

Carmen, a pseudonym, described her deportation in a court document filed by attorneys on Monday. Sullivan had demanded explanations from the government on how she and her daughter ended up deported.

Immigration officials blamed her deportation on a data error and confusion over why her deportation had been delayed.