A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from deporting more than 200 Iraqi nationals arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in June. It could also apply to another 1,200 Iraqis who have final removal orders nationwide.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the ruling Monday, before a stay he issued earlier this month was set to expire. The new ruling will stave off deportations for three months while the legal challenge makes its way through the courts.
Federal immigration agents rounded more than 100 Iraquis -- many of them Chaldean Christians -- in southeast Michigan last month. They now face possible deportation to Iraq.
The ACLU’s Kary Moss praised the ruling, saying the Iraqis would face “torture, persecution and death” if they were sent back.
“(The) decision makes clear the importance of the right to due process and protection of liberty,” says Moss.
Moss says the order lays out very specific requirements for the government to turn over necessary documents that will give Iraqis a chance to file motion to reopen their removal orders in immigration court.
Federal immigration officials had no immediate comment to the ruling.