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iraqi nationals

Judge's gavel
(loveamourlove.com)

A federal judge in Detroit has ordered the government to provide immigration files to Iraqis being detained while they fight deportation. The detainees have been held for months in facilities all across the country while they wait on records needed to go to immigration court.

Miriam Aukerman is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. She says hundreds of detainees were being held with no end in sight while the federal government slow-walked their records.

“People are literally in jail because there’s a line at the photocopier,” she said.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

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.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The woman's husband is among the more than 100 Iraqi nationals living in Michigan who were arrested by Immigrations and Customs agents in June. 

Friday, she sat in the back row of federal district judge Mark Goldsmith's courtroom, listening as the government argued her husband and the others they detained should face immediate deportation, and the ACLU argued that amounts to a death sentence for many -- and is against both U.S. and international law.

She withheld her name, for fear of retaliation in her husband's case, but agreed to tell his story.

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Iraqi nationals facing possible deportation from the U.S. won an important victory in court this week. Tuesday, Detroit U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a ruling that put a pause on any government plans to deport an estimated 1,400 Iraqi nationals living in the United States with final orders of removal.  

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith says, in spite of federal law that restricts judicial review of deportation proceedings, his court does have jurisdiction to block the deportation of some 1,400 Iraqis.

After cutting a deal with Iraq’s government earlier this year, the Trump administration moved quickly to deport non-citizen Iraqi-Americans with criminal records and standing removal orders. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed a removal flight in April. 

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

On Thursday night, a federal judge in Detroit extended an order that puts a temporary hold on the U.S. government’s threat to deport some Iraqi nationals.

The Trump administration struck a deal with Iraq’s government earlier this year.

Since then, it’s moved quickly to start deporting up to 1,400 Iraqi nationals with criminal records.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal judge in Detroit has ordered the U.S. not to deport any Iraqi nationals for at least the next two weeks. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith’s ruling Monday night expanded a temporary restraining order he issued last week.

That order applied only to Iraqi immigrants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up in the Detroit area this month.

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.