Federal judge extends stay on deportation of Iraqis arrested in metro Detroit

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 23:13:03-04

A federal judge has extended a stay on the deportation of more than 100 Chaldean and Muslim Iraqi residents in metro Detroit who were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to the original written order from U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith, the court is unsure whether it has "subject-matter jurisdiction" and issued the stay, which was to expire on July 10.

The new order extends the stay until July 24 at 11:59 p.m., unless a new order is issued by the court.

More than 100 Chaldean and Muslim residents were detained by ICE nearly a month 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.