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iraqi

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today, more than 100 Iraqi Christians facing deportation from the United States could discover their fate.

The Iraqis were detained for visa violations – including past criminal convictions – which had been ignored for years, after they were caught up in a crackdown ordered by the current administration.

Their families say they feel betrayed by a president they'd largely supported in last year's election, and who they'd seen as a defender of Christians.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Friends and family members of the Iraqi-Americans who are facing possible deportation gathered in Detroit to protest. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The ACLU of Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit to stop the deportation of about 100 Iraqi immigrants.

Immigration enforcement officials arrested the immigrants last weekend in a series of raids in the Detroit area. These officials say everyone taken into custody has a criminal record and was ordered removed from the United States.

But Michael Steinberg of the ACLU says many of those orders are decades old. And the situation in Iraq has changed. Many of the immigrants in custody are Chaldean Christians, a group that now faces persecution in Iraq

"Federal law and international treaty forbids the United States from sending individuals back to countries where they face the danger of persecution, torture or death," Steinberg says.