The case, Castro v. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), centered around 28 women and 33 children ‒ ages 2 to 17 ‒ from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who said they suffered “gender-based violence, including sexual assault, by men from whom they could not escape” or were targeted by gangs because “they are single women residing without a male household member to protect them” in their home countries. The families were detained in Texas soon after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. They claimed asylum, but immigration judges ruled they lacked “credible fear” of persecution. They were placed in expedited removal proceedings and detained at a residential center in Pennsylvania, Reuters reports.
The legal challenge claimed violation of the women and children’s right to due process under the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court let stand a ruling from the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which states that families do not have the right to contest their deportation in federal court.