Another federal judge claims authority over deportation cases

(National SentinelLegal Schmegal: A federal judge in Boston ruled Monday that her court has jurisdiction over a case brought by a group of illegal immigrants who are living in New Hampshire and are challenging a Trump administration order to leave.

Chief U.S. District Judge Patti Saris, a Clinton appointee, ordered U.S. immigration officials to delay their planned deportation of 51 Indonesian Christians who are claiming it is too dangerous for them to return to their home country because of its Muslim majority.

The reprieve granted by Saris was her second in this case, The Daily Caller reported.

Saris put the planned deportations on hold until she could determine if her court indeed has the authority she claims it does to handle the case.


“It reaffirms the central role of the federal courts in ensuring that there is a fair process when someone’s life may be at stake,” said Lee Gelernt, of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, according to the Associated Press.

The Indonesians have been living in New Hampshire in the open following a 2010 deal between U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Most of them came to the U.S. legally, but failed to reapply for legal status once their visas ran out.

They were informed by ICE agents this summer they should prepare for deportation in two months, but Saris intervened after the Indonesians brought their case to her court.

The Indonesians have challenged the deportation order on grounds that they face persecution on their return home, both for their religious faith and because of their Chinese ethnicity.

Notes The Daily Caller:

Federal law gives authority over immigration appeals to courts operated by the executive branch. But Saris and other federal judges have ruled that U.S. district courts can intervene in deportation cases to ensure defendants have time to argue that conditions in their home countries have become too dangerous.

In a similar case, a federal judge in Michigan ruled he had authority to block the deportation of Iraqi Christians who challenged their deportation as well.

The Trump administration has already challenged Saris’ first ruling, and likely will challenge Monday’s decision as well.

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