Judge considering national freeze on Iraqi deportations

Whereupon, over a hundred Chaldean Christians in the Detroit area were rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and, if it hadn't been for a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in MI last week, they would now be back in a country that has seen their communities all but destroyed, most horrifically by ISIS.

The order came down Thursday evening just after 7 p.m.by Judge Mark A. Goldsmith. Moreover, she argued that Goldsmith doesn't have jurisdiction to decide immigration matters that belong in immigration court, and that this case shouldn't be granted class action status. Read the full order below.

It should not be glossed over that the detainees are immigrants who have at one time or another during fallen afoul of the law.

"ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending removable aliens". They are now facing deportation.


However, they recently agreed to accept them as part of a deal with the USA that removed Iraq's place on a list of countries where foreign nationals were barred from traveling to the US, except in special cases, as part of President Donald Trump's immigration executive order. ACLU stated of the order: "We are thankful and relieved that our clients will not be immediately sent to Iraq, where they face grave danger of persecution, torture or death".

Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit insisted that many of those who were detained were responsible residents since they had served their time in prison and that numerous crimes had been committed decades prior to the June 11 arrests.

They had final deportation orders and convictions for serious crimes. But the American Civil Liberties Union said an immigration judge might not be able to hear their cases before deportation. He didn't say how quickly, but it's likely to be very soon considering some Iraqis around the country might be deported any day.

They were among more than 200 Iraqis arrested in recent weeks, with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claiming that all have criminal convictions in the United States.


"Many of the Petitioners are Chaldean Christians, who are widely recognized as targets of brutal persecution in Iraq". But up until now they weren't deported because Iraq had refused to accept them back. That executive order and the revised order that followed were both challenged in lower courts which ruled in favor of the states that brought suit, setting up today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Goldsmith issued a two-week stay last week, noting that he was "unsure whether (the court). has the subject matter jurisdiction" to permanently prevent the deportations.

Iraq was home to about 1.5 million Christians in 2003 but now fewer than 300,000 remain.

Attorneys for the Iraqis, meanwhile, have been filing appeals for the detainees in immigration and local county courts. It says a half-dozen members of the state's Congressional delegation urged that the Iraqis be allowed to stay until Congress receives assurances about their safety. There are about 150,000 Chaldeans in the Detroit area, which is the largest Chaldean diaspora community living outside the Middle East, according to the Chaldean Community Foundation.



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