Judge issues preliminary injunction against deportation of hundreds of Iraqis

Goldsmith said that the government made legal representation of the immigrants hard because many of them have been moved around from state to state to different immigration centers.

Some of the Iraqis named in this case came to the United States as children and committed crimes decades ago, but previous attempts to deport them had failed because the Baghdad government declined to issue them travel documents.

But in March, the Trump administration reached a deal with the Iraqi government to accept them and in June began rounding them up in immigration raids.

Judge Goldsmith said he hoped the additional time would ensure “those who might be subjected to grave harm and possible death are not cast out of this country before having their day in court”.

Many had been transferred multiple times to various detention facilities, making it harder for them to get legal representation and prepare their cases, advocates said.

Goldsmith stated that the Iraqi nationals, if deported, will face torture or death as a result of them living in the United States, their publicized criminal records and because of their religious affiliation.

The government, which had argued that the Iraqis already have adequate access to immigration courts to have their cases reconsidered, did not immediately react to the judge’s latest ruling.

Khaalid Walls, an ICE spokesman, said the agency had no immediate comment on the ruling.

The decision comes weeks after the largest roundup in recent years of Iraqi nationals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, followed by a widespread outcry. The immigrants rounded up in Metro Detroit were sent to a center in Youngstown, Ohio.

In addition to the 114 arrested in MI, the judge’s order applies to 85 other Iraqis arrested outside the state.

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 USA government said. The roundup came after Iraq and the US reached an agreement this year in March for the Iraqi nationals to be removed to Iraq. The government opposed the motion, claiming the court had no jurisdiction to call a stay or halt the deportations.

Of the requests, immigration judges granted a stay of removal in 39 cases.

“The Detroit Immigration Court has engaged in extensive efforts to timely adjudicate and rule on motions to reopen and stay motions in response to the influx of motions filed by detained Iraqi nationals”, according to court documents written by Sheila McNulty, an Illinois-based assistant chief immigration judge with oversight of six courts, including Detroit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *