Michigan judge stops deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqis amid Trump’s travel ban

Michigan judge stops deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqis amid Trump’s travel ban


iraq family muslim ban trump passport reuters RTSXVHW
Fuad
Sharef Suleman shows his passport to the media after US President
Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily bar travellers from seven
countries, including Iraq.

Ahmed
Saad/Reuters


DETROIT (Reuters) – A federal judge in Michigan halted on Monday
the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals from the
United States, the latest legal victory for the Iraqi nationals
facing deportation in a closely watched case.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith granted a preliminary
injunction requested by American Civil Liberties Union lawyers,
who argued the immigrants would face persecution in Iraq because
they are considered ethnic and religious minorities there.

Goldsmith said the injunction provides detainees time to
challenge their removal in federal courts. He said many of them
faced “a feverish search for legal assistance” after their
deportation orders were unexpectedly resurrected by the U.S.
government after several years.

Goldsmith wrote, in his 34-page opinion and order, the extra time
assures “that those who might be subjected to grave harm and
possible death are not cast out of this country before having
their day in court.”

The decision effectively means no Iraqi nationals can be deported
from the United States for several months.

It was not immediately known whether the U.S. government would
appeal. A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in
Detroit was not immediately available for comment.

There are 1,444 Iraqi nationals who have final deportation orders
against them in the U.S., although only about 199 of them were
detained in June as part of a nationwide sweep by immigration
authorities.

The ACLU sued on June 15 to halt the deportations, arguing the
Iraqis could face persecution, torture, or death because many
were Chaldean Catholics, Sunni Muslims, or Iraqi Kurds and that
the groups were recognized as targets of ill-treatment in Iraq.


travel ban airport
Hanadi
Al-Haj, right, greets her Yemeni mother Amal Bagoon in the Tom
Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International
Airport as her mother arrives from Jordan via Istanbul, Thursday,
June 29, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Mark J.
Terrill/AP



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Those arrested by immigration authorities had outstanding
deportation orders and many had been convicted of serious crimes,
ranging from homicide to weapons and drug charges, the U.S.
government said.

Goldsmith sided with the ACLU, expanding on June 26 an earlier
stay which only protected 114 detainees from the Detroit area to
the broader class of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals nationwide.
Goldsmith’s Monday decision came hours before that injunction was
set to expire.

The ACLU argued many Iraqi detainees have had difficulty
obtaining critical government documents needed to file
deportation order appeals, and also that the government has
transferred many detainees to facilities in different parts of
the country, separating them from their lawyers and families.

Under Goldsmith’s ruling, immigration authorities must provide
the ACLU with bi-weekly reports about each Iraqi that include
where they are detained.

On Friday, a federal prosecutor told Goldsmith his injunction was
not necessary because many of the detainees were appealing final
deportation orders through immigration court.

The roundup of Iraqis in the Detroit area followed Iraq’s
agreement to accept deportees as part of a deal that removed the
country from Trump’s revised temporary travel ban on people from
six Muslim-majority countries.

Some of those affected came to the United States as children and
committed their crimes decades ago but were allowed to stay
because Iraq previously declined to issue travel documents for
them.

That changed after the two governments came to the agreement in
March.

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.