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iraqi nationals

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Trump Administration is deporting a growing number of Iraqi nationals who say they face likely persecution and death if returned to that country.

These Iraqis are part of a court case, Hamama v. Adducci, that challenged their planned deportations. Many have criminal records and standing deportation orders. But they say Iraq is too dangerous to return to.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

As President Trump ramps up his campaign, his deportation policy drew protests in Detroit this week. And a West Michigan congressman who called for impeachment proceedings against the president has faced a protest of his own.

Libertarian columnist Shikha Dalmia joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about those stories, and about Attorney General Dana Nessel's decision to dismiss all criminal charges from the Flint water crisis. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters are back at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices in Detroit, trying to stop the potential deportation of more Iraqi nationals.

The U.S. has deported a small number of people back to Iraq after winning a court case on appeal late last year.

U.S. Congress / congress.gov

A bipartisan group of members of Congress want Iraqi nationals facing deportation from the United States to get their day in court.

On Tuesday, U.S. Representatives Andy Levin (D-MI-09) and John Moolenar (R-MI-04) introduced a bill, H.R. 2537, they say would protect more than one thousand Iraqis facing orders of removal. 

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Today on Stateside, around 1,000 Iraqi nationals are in danger of deportation starting Tuesday after a federal appeals court decision ruled that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could move forward with trying to send them back to Iraq. Plus, we talk to a corrections officer a Jackson prison that has lost four officers to suicide in the past two years about how to better support prison staff who are grappling with mental health issues.

Michigan Radio

Tuesday is an important day for about a thousand Iraqis with final deportation orders. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Advocates for Iraqis in the U.S. who are facing deportation held a press conference on Saturday.

They're urging the federal government to let Iraqis with final orders of deportation appeal to an immigration judge.

They say deportation could be a death sentence, especially for Chaldean Christians.

Democratic Congressman Andy Levin is spearheading the effort.

Michigan Radio

Eleven members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are urging federal immigration officials to hold off on deporting hundreds of Iraqi nationals.

This week, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reconsider a December ruling that overturned a Detroit judge's decision that blocked the deportation of hundreds of Iraqi immigrants with criminal records.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

Iraqis with standing removal orders are no longer protected from deportation if an immigration court hasn’t heard their case, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this week.

In 2017, Detroit U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith had made critical rulings that gave some protection to those Iraqis at risk of deportation.

ACLU

The ACLU says a new appeals court decision will deny people facing deportation the right to make their case in immigration court, even if they believe deportation puts them at risk of death.

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Courtesy of Mike Blank

Today on Stateside, we review the bills headed to Governor Snyder's desk after the lame duck state legislature's all-nighter. Plus, this year marks the 50th consecutive year of a very special Christmas tradition for Stateside producer Mike Blank's family.  

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Updated 4:45 p.m. 12/20/18

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has thrown a last-minute monkey wrench into the ongoing legal battle by the ACLU and Miller Canfield to free Iraqis living in the U.S. who were rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the summer of 2017.

ACLU

This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to release many of the roughly 100 Iraqis it has detained since the summer of 2017.

That's after a federal judge gave the government a deadline of December 20th to let them go.

Michigan Radio

In a strongly worded opinion, a U.S. District Judge has ordered the federal government to release Iraqi nationals it has been holding in jails after immigration raids last year.

protesters carrying signs
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More than 100 Iraqi nationals being held in immigration custody should be released because the government lied about Iraq’s willingness to repatriate them, the detainees' lawyers told a federal judge in Detroit Wednesday.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has misled a federal court about whether Iraqi detainees can go back to Iraq.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

A federal judge in Detroit has ruled the government cannot threaten Iraqi detainees with indefinite detention or prosecution to get them to sign a document saying they want to leave the US. The government is trying to deport the Iraqis, who say they face persecution or death if they return to Iraq.

ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman says the detainees are being denied legal assistance.

Allan LEONARD / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The ACLU was in court Monday trying to get a federal judge to issue an order that immigration officers cannot threaten or coerce detained Iraqis into signing a document that could help deport them.

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Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit judge will hear arguments today about alleged abuses by federal immigration agents.

The ACLU of Michigan filed a motion last week. It says agents are threatening and harassing detainees.

The ACLU represents several hundred Iraqi immigrants who face deportation orders for crimes – many of which were committed years ago and for which sentences were already served.

The motion says detainees are told if they don’t sign a statement saying they want to return to Iraq, they’ll be criminally prosecuted and detained indefinitely.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that will affect the fates of hundreds of Iraqi nationals living in Michigan.

Scores of Iraqi nationals living in Metro Detroit were picked up as part of a nationwide sweep by federal immigration agents.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

The Metro Detroit man who’s become the face of about 200 Iraqis fighting deportation was allowed to walk free on bond after an immigration judge’s ruling on Thursday.

Usama Hamama, better known as Sam, has been in jail since he was swept up in immigration raids last June. Those raids centered in Metro Detroit, and targeted Iraqi nationals with prior criminal convictions.

Bond hearings beginning for Iraqi detainees

Jan 19, 2018
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Bond hearings have started to be held for some of the nearly 300 Iraqi nationals who have been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And a lot more will start next week.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the release by February 2 of the detainees who have been held for more than six months, unless the government can show that they are a flight or public safety risk.

DETROIT - Hundreds of Iraqi nationals held for months under U.S. deportation orders will get a shot at freedom while they fight their removal.

Detroit federal Judge Mark Goldsmith on Tuesday ordered immigration judges to release the detainees unless they're a public safety risk. The order applies to people who have been held for at least six months.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A federal judge in Detroit has promised a ruling soon on whether roughly 300 Iraqi Christian detainees will be released while they wait for their immigration cases to be re-opened.

The detainees face deportation orders for crimes, often committed many years ago. They would like their cases re-considered because they say they face persecution if they are returned to Iraq.              

Miriam Aukerman is an ACLU attorney. She says the families are hoping for a Christmas gift.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office was the target of a Christmas-themed protest on Sunday.

The protesters want hundreds of Iraqi nationals released immediately. Nearly 300 Iraqis with criminal records have been in federal detention for months, after most were swept up in mass arrests this spring.

Judge's gavel
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A federal judge in Detroit has ordered the government to provide immigration files to Iraqis being detained while they fight deportation. The detainees have been held for months in facilities all across the country while they wait on records needed to go to immigration court.

Miriam Aukerman is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. She says hundreds of detainees were being held with no end in sight while the federal government slow-walked their records.

“People are literally in jail because there’s a line at the photocopier,” she said.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from deporting more than 200 Iraqi nationals arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in June. It could also apply to another 1,200 Iraqis who have final removal orders nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the ruling Monday, before a stay he issued earlier this month was set to expire. The new ruling will stave off deportations for three months while the legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The woman's husband is among the more than 100 Iraqi nationals living in Michigan who were arrested by Immigrations and Customs agents in June. 

Friday, she sat in the back row of federal district judge Mark Goldsmith's courtroom, listening as the government argued her husband and the others they detained should face immediate deportation, and the ACLU argued that amounts to a death sentence for many -- and is against both U.S. and international law.

She withheld her name, for fear of retaliation in her husband's case, but agreed to tell his story.

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Iraqi nationals facing possible deportation from the U.S. won an important victory in court this week. Tuesday, Detroit U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a ruling that put a pause on any government plans to deport an estimated 1,400 Iraqi nationals living in the United States with final orders of removal.  

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith says, in spite of federal law that restricts judicial review of deportation proceedings, his court does have jurisdiction to block the deportation of some 1,400 Iraqis.

After cutting a deal with Iraq’s government earlier this year, the Trump administration moved quickly to deport non-citizen Iraqi-Americans with criminal records and standing removal orders. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed a removal flight in April. 

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