Earlier this week, Faithwire reported the growing controversy surrounding the seizure of some 100 Iraqi Christians in southeastern Michigan by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) who were acting as part of a larger immigration crackdown by the Trump administration.
Those arrested in Detroit are believed to have been living in the United States with their families for many years, and people on all side of the political spectrum have condemned the detention. Franklin Graham called the reports “very disturbing” because the Chaldean Christians would face an almost certain death should they be deported.
I find it very disturbing what I have read about Chaldean Christians being rounded up by U.S. ICE (Immigration and…
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit to stop the deportation of both Christians and Muslims, arguing that it is illegal to deport the detainees without knowing whether they will face torture or death in Iraq. On Thursday, a federal district judge seemingly agreed, temporarily blocking the deportation of 114 Iraqi Christians.
According to the The Guardian, Judge Mark Goldsmith said those arrested would not be deported for at least two weeks, at which time he would issue a new ruling. The order applies to “all Iraqi nationals within the jurisdiction of the Detroit ICE field office with final orders of removal, who have been, or will be, arrested and detained by ICE, including those detained in Michigan and transferred outside of Michigan to other detention locations.”
ICE claims those who were seized represent a “very real public safety threat,” and reports indicate that the people in question either have minor criminal convictions or have overstayed visas. Many of the individuals have been known to the government for years—receiving orders of supervision requiring them to check-in regularly with immigration officials—and were not prioritized for deportation under past presidential administrations.
Lawyers and activists working on behalf of the detainees fear their clients will face torture or even death, should they return to Iraq.
“The decision to detain and deport these Iraqi Christians is unfathomable, unethical, and un-American,” said Mark Arabo, president of the Minority Humanitarian Foundation (MHF), which provides aid to Iraqi minorities. “This temporary stay is a sign of hope for our Iraqi Christian community that has been plagued by injustice at the hands of President Trump.”
H/T: The Guardian