A mother and her 12-year-old daughter who were deported to Guatemala on Friday need to be immediately returned to the United States, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge ordered.
In a rare move, Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has order U.S. officials to search for the 34-year-old mother, Ana, and her daughter, who were pulled from their rooms at a Pennsylvania family detention center at 3 a.m. Friday and placed on a plane flying to Panama City.
Their last names were not made available, according McClatchy news service, which first reported the news.
The women's attorney, Bridget Cambria, said the mother and daughter had been living at the family detention center for over a year before they were taken. The two were to catch a second flight to Guatemala City.
"If the government is unable to intercept Petitioners at the airport, they must locate Petitioners in Guatemala and return to the United States as quickly as possible," McKee wrote in his June 19 order.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told the McClatchy on Friday night that they were reviewing the judge's order.
"Right now the agency is working to prepare a way forward for all parties involved in the case," said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.
Cambria told McClatchy that Ana and her daughter were victims of domestic violence in Guatemala, and she was suffering psychological issues because of their long stay at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.
According to McClatchy, Cambria had asked the court to block Ana's deportation while her latest appeal was pending. The U.S. attorney's office told the court on June 9th that officials had no plans to remove the mother and child.
They were removed 10 days later.
McKee said in his order that the court would have granted Cambria's request had they court known Ana and her daughter were going to be deported.
Cambria said immigration services knew that an emergency request to stop the deportation had been filed, but ICE officials did not notify the court of their plans to remove them.
"It's the court acknowledging that ICE can't flex its muscle and deport victims of domestic abuse, victims of sexual violence without giving them appropriate due process," she said. "You can't play tricks when you're dealing with people's lives."