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Judge halts deportation of Iraqi Christians

HONG KONG (SE): United States of America (US) district judge, Mark Goldsmith, issued a 14-day stay on plans by immigration authorities to deport nearly 200 Iraqis— most of them Chaldean Christians—who were seized in raids in the area of Detroit, Michigan. He will weigh the merits of a lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the deportation proceedings, the Catholic Herald reported on June 23.
Goldsmith said he would decide whether a federal court, rather than an immigration court, had proper jurisdiction in the case, adding that the potential danger to the immigrants if they are returned to Iraq “far outweighs any conceivable interest the government might have in the immediate enforcement of the removal orders.”
The ACLU lawsuit stated, “Many of the petitioners are Chaldean Christians, who are widely recognised as targets of brutal persecution in Iraq.”
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako, writing from Iraq, expressed his sympathy and his hope for a solution that would preserve the immigrants from danger. He observed that the situation points to the need for migrants to ensure that they have attained legal status.
Most of the immigrants who were rounded up have lived in the US for decades, albeit without legal status. All have arrest records, although their supporters argue that few can be regarded as threats to public safety.

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