U.S. judge asked to expand order blocking
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[June 26, 2017]
By Ian Simpson
(Reuters) - The American Civil Liberties
Union asked a U.S. judge on Saturday to expand an order that temporarily
blocks the deportation of 114 Iraqis in Michigan, to cover Iraqis
nationwide, according to a court filing.
The advocacy group filed an amended complaint seeking to keep
Immigration and Customs Enforcement from deporting Iraqis from anywhere
in the United States while a federal judge weighs the case of the Iraqis
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith on Thursday ordered a stay in the
Michigan Iraqis' deportation for at least two weeks while he decides
whether he has jurisdiction.
The ACLU, which had sued to block the Michigan deportations, asked
Goldsmith to rule by Monday on expanding his order to cover the more
than 1,400 Iraqis facing expulsion across the United States. The
immigration agency has indicated it might start those deportations as
soon as Tuesday, the ACLU said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said
the agency was reviewing the judge's order.
"The agency intends to comply with the terms of the order, while
determining the appropriate next steps," she said in an email.
The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment.
The ACLU said in its filing that those being deported could face
persecution or torture because many were Chaldean Catholics or Iraqi
Kurds and that both groups were recognized as targets of ill-treatment
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Family members of detainees line up to enter the federal court just
before a hearing to consider a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf
of Iraqi nationals facing deportation, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.,
June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
The ACLU also filed a motion asking the judge to extend his order
nationwide to ensure that people who could face persecution, torture
or death in Iraq are not deported.
The arrests of the Iraqis in Michigan were part of a sweep by
immigration authorities who detained about 199 Iraqi immigrants
around the country. They had final deportation orders and
convictions for serious crimes.
The roundup followed Iraq's agreement to accept deportees as part of
a deal that removed the country from President Donald Trump's
revised temporary travel ban.
The U.S. government has argued that the district court does not have
jurisdiction over the case since only immigration courts can decide
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Cynthia
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