A U.S. Court of Appeals judge has ordered U.S. officials to intercept a mother and her 12-year-old daughter on plane Friday being deported to Guatemala and immediately return them to the United States.
The 34-year-old mother, Ana, and her daughter were woken up at 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday and pulled from their rooms at a Pennsylvania family detention center, where they had been living for over a year, said her attorney, Bridget Cambria. By 10 a.m., the two were placed on a plane flying to Panama City, where they would catch a second flight to Guatemala City.
In a rare move that will likely draw more attention to the controversial practice of family detention, Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. officials to stop Ana and her daughter when they arrive in Guatemala City and immediately return them to the United States.
“If the government is unable to intercept Petitioners at the airport, they must locate Petitioners in Guatemala and return them to the United States as quickly as possible,” McKee wrote in his June 19 order.