Judge could put national halt on Iraqi deportations in emergency hearing

Posted June 27, 2017

Then, on June 22, Judge Mark Goldsmith granted a two-week stay on the deportations of the Iraqi nationals "within the jurisdiction of the Detroit ICE Field Office with final orders of removal who have been, or will be, arrested and detained by ICE".

The judge said tweets by Trump suggested that the order sought to ban people on the basis of their religion, and not in the interest of national security, as Trump had claimed.

In its amended complaint, the ACLU said plaintiffs had in many cases been living in the United States for decades.

The US government has argued that the district court does not have jurisdiction over the case since only immigration courts can decide deportation issues.

The news service says the MI roundup was part of a broader sweep in which immigration authorities detained close to 200 Iraqi immigrants across the country.

But they argued that sending them back to Iraq, where the USA government has said Chaldeans face genocide, is akin to a death sentence.

Some Iraqis have been under deportation orders for years, but the Iraqi government refused to accept them until the Trump administration struck a deal with Iraq earlier this year for the Middle Eastern nation to start accepting its deportees again. She also argues that the detainees likely won't win their arguments before immigration courts.

The written order follows outcry from the Detroit area's Chaldean Christians, who were shocked when officials detained scores of them on June 11.

Judge Mark Goldsmith said in an order on Thursday that those arrested would not be deported for at least two weeks. "The vast majority of those arrested in the Detroit metropolitan area have very serious felony convictions, multiple felony convictions in many cases". "I applaud the efforts of the law enforcement personnel who, day in and day out, put their lives on the line to protect this community".

The ACLU, which had sued to block the MI deportations, asked Goldsmith to rule by Monday on expanding his order to cover the more than 1,400 Iraqis facing expulsion across the United States.

All of the Iraqis have criminal records and have gone through the system's due process. As of April 17, a total of 1,444 Iraqi nationals were facing deportation, and eight have already have been returned to Iraq.

Attorneys for the Iraqis, meanwhile, have been filing appeals for the detainees in immigration and local county courts.

An immigration spokesman reached Sunday says they are reviewing Goldsmith's order from last week, and intend to comply with it while "determining the appropriate next steps". "It would be unconstitutional and unconscionable to deport these individuals without giving them an opportunity to demonstrate the harm that awaits them in Iraq".