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Judge considering national freeze on Iraqi deportations

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People protest outside of a court hearing a case regarding Iraqi deportation. REUTERS  Rebecca Cook

Goldsmith also said his stays were created to give detainees time to find legal representation to appeal their deportation orders, and to give him time to weigh the question of his jurisdiction. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has defended the detainees, who were identified by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to their past criminal records.

In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it will comply with the order. The American Civil Liberties Union wants Goldsmith to extend his stay nationwide. For years it had refused to issue travel documents to those individuals.

A federal court halted the deportation of more than 100 Chaldean Christians that Homeland Security had been poised to send back to their home in Iraq, as a judge dealt yet another blow to President Trump's immigration plans. He said he wan't sure of the jurisdictional issues in the "unusual" case and granted the short-term stay to give himself more time to decide the matter. These people were arrested under new measures being enforced by the Trump administration created to stop migration from Middle Eastern countries, considered at risk of terrorist infiltration.

Margo Schlanger, a University of MI law professor, who argued on behalf of the ACLU, told U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith that it only made sense that he expand his 14-day order to block the immediate deportation of other Iraqis around the nation in places like Nashville and California.

"The decision to detain and deport these Iraqi Christians is unfathomable, unethical, and un-American", said Minority Humanitarian Foundation president Mark Arabo. Nationwide, ICE has said, 1,444 Iraqi nationals are facing final orders for removal, though not all have been detained. For Christians, as long as they agree to pay the jizya tax and follow the rules, they've mostly left them alone (not the case in Egypt, however, where they have murdered Coptic Christians in staggering numbers). "If you look up what they do to people in Mosul, it's insane".

"Hopefully someone will have a heart to keep him here", Shoki said. That client base has ballooned to 23 since the raids.

"Many of the Petitioners are Chaldean Christians, who are widely recognized as targets of brutal persecution in Iraq".

"Just one week prior our federal government declared religious discrimination against this group", Dass remarked.

The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairmen of the bishops' migration and worldwide policy committees urged Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to defer the deportation of Chaldeans earlier this week.

The Chaldean Catholic community in Detroit dates back to the early 20th century. The Detroit metropolitan area is home to the largest United States group of Chaldeans.

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