Donald Trump Wants To Deport Iraqi Christians. The ACLU Says No Way
Hamama, who received a deportation order for a gun charge more than 30 years ago, was one of scores of Iraqi nationals picked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in sweeping raids in MI and Tennessee during the past week as ICE processes a “backlog” of about 1,400 Iraqis the United States wants to deport because they at some point committed a crime.
The ACLU wants a district court in MI to hold a hearing on Friday where the detainees can describe their fears about what they could face in the war-torn nation, including torture, it said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
“Not only is it immoral to send people to a country where they are likely to be violently persecuted, it expressly violates United States and global law and treaties”, Kary Moss, executive director for the ACLU of MI, said in a statement released Thursday.
Indeed, local area activists and aid groups insist that deportation of Christians to Iraq is tantamount to a death sentence.
This is a developing story and will be updated. “Iraqi Christians have formally been designated by the United States as victims of ‘genocide.’ They and other named minorities of that declaration should be welcomed to this country”.
Evangelical leader the Rev. Franklin Graham has said the arrests of hundreds of Chaldean Christians in Detroit and other cities nationwide is “very disturbing”, and urged President Donald Trump to consider their fate if deported back to Iraq. The Chaldean Community Foundation estimates some 121,000 Chaldeans live in the Detroit area, the largest concentration of Chaldeans outside the Middle East.
Federal immigration enforcement officials said 114 Iraqi nationals in metro Detroit were detained June 11 during a sweep of residents subject to deportation, while groups continued to vow to fight the removals.
An ICE spokesman said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation. “We got married and started our lives”, said Hamama’s wife, Nahrain Hamama, who said her family would lose its primary breadwinner and health insurance if her husband gets deported.
In another legal strategy, Dass also filed a motion in Oakland County Circuit Court to reopen the criminal cases of many of those who face deportation. ICE says majority have criminal records.
ICE would only respond to emailed questions and did not answer how many detainees are being housed in the former Northeast Ohio Correctional Center on Hubbard Road, or when they were sent here.
They had been given an effective reprieve from deportation because Iraq would not take them back.
“Is this United States?” “They’re no longer criminals”, he added.
“We are pleading with the government to reconsider”, Manna said.
The arrests come amid broader, aggressive immigration policies by the Trump administration.
The biggest wave of Chaldeans first settled in Detroit in the late 1960s, escaping the regime of Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, and later Saddam Hussein, according to Manna. They’re culturally illiterate and fearing being killed.
“ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security”. Now we’re hoping and praying there will be some relief.