UPDATE: Federal judge to issue written opinion on Iraqi detainees

Posted at 10:54 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 14:48:17-05

Right now, hundreds of Iraqi detainees from metro Detroit are being held in detention centers. The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the judge to release them on bond. 

2:19 p.m.

The judge is wrapping things up. He says he will issue a written opinion. 


1:57 p.m.

The judge just asked the government’s attorney of the court were to say people must be released unless there is a bond hearing, how long would it take to have a bond hearing? 14 days? 30 days? Government’s attorney said he can’t answer that…


1:24 p.m.
ACLU offering rebuttal. Responding to government's argument there should be individual requests for bond hearings. The ACLU says the whole point of a class action is that it is efficient when it comes to handling people with a similar set of questions. Court should be efficient.

RELATED: Detainees, families send judge dozens of letters in Iraqi deportation case

11:26 a.m.

At one point, the government's attorney said that the government detains people for good reason. The judge responded saying, to paraphrase, there could be good reasons, there could be bad reasons and it could be thought that it would look good for political reasons.

11:14 a.m.

The government says there is a "fundamental tension" in the ACLU's argument. First, they said the process was going too fast, so the court stopped deportation so they could have a chance to argue their case.

Now, the ACLU says the process is too slow and the defendants are stuck and locked up.

The government's attorney says the court can rule that these people are being held for a limited time because they are in proceedings with a definite end point. They are not being held in indefinite detention.

10:55 a.m.

The ACLU wants class action status for the group of detainees, and are arguing that they should all get bond hearings.

10:43 a.m.

They say most of the people who are detained have not been given bond hearings and have been in custody for months. They say this is a violation of civil rights.

ACLU Attorney Margo Schlanger says special factors need to be taken into account of when deciding whether people should be released. 

10:36 a.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union is in U.S. District Court asking Iraqi detainees be sent home to their families while waiting for their immigration cases to be heard.

The ACLU says case law does not allow long-term imprisonment because they will likely be deported.