Federal Court Extends Order Blocking Immediate Deportation of Iraqi Nationals

Affiliate: ACLU of Tennessee
June 27, 2017 10:15 am

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DETROIT — The federal court that blocked the immediate deportation of Iraqi nationals in Michigan last week has extended its order nationwide.

The move helps ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not deport individuals who face persecution, torture, and death in Iraq without having a chance to prove their lives would be in danger if returned to Iraq. The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sought the initial temporary restraining order on behalf of the Detroit-area Iraqi nationals — many of whom have been in the U.S. for decades — who were recently arrested by ICE, and a subsequent request to make the order nationwide.

“Iraqi nationals, not just in Detroit but all across the U.S., are at risk of torture and death if deported back to Iraq. The court did the right thing to ensure everyone is protected and has a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return,” said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

The ACLU is also seeking nationwide class-action status in this lawsuit.

“We are grateful that the court stepped in and took the life-saving action of stopping the immediate deportation of members of the Nashville community to Iraq,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director. “The people targeted by ICE came to our state from Iraq as refugees. They have lived, worked and raised families here for decades. Many have children and spouses or partners who are U.S. citizens. Some have assisted the U.S. military abroad. These members of our community deserve an opportunity to go before the court and prove that they face grave danger of persecution should they be sent to Iraq. We cannot allow members of our community to become victims of a politics of fear that undermines our values and does nothing to keep us safe.”

“In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, ICE is putting hundreds of individuals who have lived in this country for decades in grave danger of being persecuted or killed,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. “For many families across the United States, this ruling is like a stay in a death penalty case.”

The case was argued in the U.S. District Court/Eastern Michigan District.

The ruling is at: http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/Order_Granting_Motion_to_Expand_Stay_Order.pdf

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