Judge considering national freeze on Iraqi deportations

Federal Judge Blocks US Deportation Of Iraqis Nationwide

Federal Judge Blocks US Deportation Of Iraqis Nationwide

U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith on Thursday issued a stay on the deportation of 114 Iraqi immigrants detained in the Detroit area during a massive immigration sweep targeting Iraqis, most of whom have criminal records, the weekend of June 10 and June 11. "We are thankful and relieved that our clients will not be immediately be sent to Iraq, where they face grave danger of persecution, torture or death".

The U.S. government says 1,400 Iraqis are under deportation orders, though most are not in custody.

The U.S. Justice Department counters that only an immigration court can decide the Iraqis' fate, not the district court where the case was filed.

Judge Mark Goldsmith said in an order on Thursday that those arrested would not be deported for at least two weeks.

The advocates, along with the ACLU, fear the immigrants, many of them Iraqi Christians, could face persecution in Iraq - either tortured or killed - and deserve more time to argue their cases. The court will do one of three things Monday. They were detained and informed of their immanent deportation. It will either uphold Trump's ban, refuse to hear the case or say it will hear the case in the fall when the court reconvenes.

The Associated Press reported that the majority of the Iraqi detainees are Chaldean Christians, while a few are Shiite Muslims who have converted to Christianity.

Khaalid Walls, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said it is now reviewing the judge's order.

Gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016
But Republicans have a 7-4 majority in the state's congressional delegation and now control the state House 66-34. One of the largest Democratic congressional advantages was in Maryland, where Democrats controlled redistricting.

The ACLU argued that many of those affected in MI are Chaldean Catholics who are "widely recognised as targets of brutal persecution in Iraq".

A US government lawyer has urged a jury to conclude a charity must give up majority ownership of a Manhattan skyscraper because it is secretly controlled by Iran.

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

"The operation in this region was specifically conducted to address the very real public safety threat represented by the criminal aliens arrested".

ICE last week said it was reviewing the judge's stay of removal order in the MI case and meant to comply with its terms. "This temporary stay is a sign of hope for our Iraqi Christian community that has been plagued by injustice at the hands of President Trump".

Protesters in front of the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit chant "Stop deportations, bring our families home" on June 14, 2017.

"The court took a life-saving action by blocking our clients from being immediately sent back to Iraq", Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement. "They should have a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return".

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