Judge halts deportation, threatens Sessions with contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has halted a deportation in progress and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if the mother and daughter aren't returned to the U.S.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington learned Thursday that the two were on a plane headed to Central America. He said any delay in bringing them back would be intolerable.

The judge said Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should argue why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court if they failed to comply.

The woman — identified in court as Carmen — is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this week against the administration by the American Civil Liberties Union over efforts to prevent immigrants from seeking asylum due to domestic and gang violence in their home countries.