Emergency hearing scheduled Monday over deportation of metro Detroit Iraqis

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-25 14:28:51-04

An emergency hearing has been scheduled Monday in Detroit federal court over the deportation of more than 100 Iraqi residents detained two weeks ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith will consider a request to expand a 14-day stay on the deportation.

On Thursday, Goldsmith issued the stay while he determines which court has the "subject-matter jurisdiction."

According to a written order from U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith last week, the court is unsure whether it has "subject-matter jurisdiction" and issued the stay, which will expire on July 6.

More than 100 Chaldean and Muslim residents were detained by ICE nearly two weeks ago, and ICE said a day later that they would be deported.

"As a result of recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq, Iraq has recently agreed to accept a number of Iraqi nationals subject to orders of removal," read the statement. "As part of ICE's efforts to process the backlog of these individuals, the agency recently arrested a number of Iraqi nationals, all of whom had criminal convictions for crimes including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations and other offenses," ICE said in a statement at the time.

They filed a habeas corpus class action petition.

Most of the people detained were taken to the Northeast Ohio Correction center in Youngstown, Ohio, while they awaited deportation.

They filed the habeas corpus class action petition "seeking, among other relief, an order enjoining the Government from removing them to Iraq without first providing them an opportunity to demonstrate that, in light of changed country conditions, they would face persecution, torture, or death, if removed to Iraq," according to the court.

"In light of these complex jurisdictional issues, and the speed with which the Government is moving to remove Petitioners, it is necessary to stay Petitioners’ removal pending the Court’s determination regarding its jurisdiction," the order states.

According to the judge, the court needs to take proper time before determining whether or not they should be deported.

"Irreparable harm is made out by the significant chance of loss of life and lesser forms of persecution that Petitioners have substantiated," the judge wrote. "Such harm far outweighs any conceivable interest the Government might have in the immediate enforcement of the removal orders, before this Court can clarify whether it has jurisdiction to grant relief to Petitioners on the merits of their claims."