A federal judge in MI has ruled that more than 100 Iraqi Christian migrants facing deportation can stay in the United States for at least two more weeks to give the court some more time to determine its jurisdiction.
Federal prosecutors told the court there are 1,444 Iraqi nationals who have final deportation orders against them, and of those 199 are in custody of usa immigration authorities.
On Thursday, Goldsmith ordered a stay in the Michigan Iraqis' deportation for at least two weeks while he decided whether he had jurisdiction over the merits of deporting immigrants who could face physical danger in their countries of origin.
Goldsmith, whose order will expire July 6, wrote that the court is unsure it has "subject matter jurisdiction". Considering that majority are Chaldean Christians, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit and contended that the deportation would be tantamount to sending the detained to persecution or death, The Guardian detailed. They want to have their cases reopened so they can argue that circumstances have changed in their home countries, making their previous deportation orders null.
The June 11 arrests by ICE sparked protests in Detroit by supporters who say the Iraqis would face persecution in Iraq since many of them are Christians. The largest Chaldean Christian community in the USA resides in the Detroit metropolitan area.
ICE says all of the Iraqi nationals it arrested have criminal convictions, many for serious offenses including murder, rape and drug trafficking.
Attorneys for 114 Iraqi immigrants and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of MI cheered the judge's decision, according to the Detroit News.
A federal judge has issued a stay on the deportation of Chaldean and Iraq immigrants arrested by ICE agents for 14 days.
"The persecution that the Christian and Chaldean Catholic community has faced in Iraq is well- documented", they added.
They fear they will be persecuted, tortured or killed if returned to Iraq.
If the justices refuse to review the case, the lower court rulings will stand, stopping the Trump administration from banning entry into the US based on the country from which a person emigrates.
The ACLU said the plaintiffs had been complying with the conditions of their release when "with no warning" ICE began arresting and detaining them because Iraq had agreed to take them back.
"They should have a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return", the New York-based group said in a statement.