A federal judge on Monday will consider whether to impose a temporary suspension on deportations of Iraqi nationals, The Hill reports.
Judge Mark Goldsmith, a federal judge in Detroit, is expected to hold a hearing Monday on the issue, according to the Associated Press. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is looking to add to its case beyond the 114 people signed on in the Detroit area.
The hearing comes after a judge in Michigan earlier this month blocked the deportation of more than 100 Iraqi Christians. The ACLU also filed for a restraining order, which the judge granted. The 114 Christians, most of which are from the Chaldean sect, say they risk death if they are forced to return to Iraq.
“Iraqi nationals living anywhere in the United States face a grave danger of persecution, torture or death if deported to Iraq. We’re simply asking the judge to extend the protection he ordered for Iraqis nationals living in Michigan to Iraqi nationals living in other states”, said ACLU attorney Michael Steinberg on Sunday.
The motion was filed Saturday asking for an emergency hearing after the plaintiffs learned of 85 other Iraqis who have been arrested across the United States.Those detainees also are facing possible immediate deportation, according to the 36-page lawsuit, Detroit News reports.
According to the ACLU, many of the 114 Iraqis have been living in the U.S. for decades. They were arrested in recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the greater Detroit area as President Donald Trump’s administration cracks down on those in the country illegally.
“Time is of the essence, because Iraqi nationals who are not protected from immediate deportation under this Court’s existing stay face deportation as soon as Tuesday,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks to have the court issue a revised order “to include all Iraqi national with final orders of removal who have been, or will be, arrested and detained by ICE (U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement).” There are 1,444 Iraqi nationals with final orders of removal, according to the lawsuit.
Goldsmith signed a 14-day halt of deportations Thursday during a hearing for detainees who were arrested in Metro Detroit during the weekend of June 11. The judge said he needed more time to determine if he has jurisdiction in the case.
A large rally was held outside the federal courthouse in Detroit before to the Thursday hearing, which was attended by family members, community leaders and other supporters asking the U.S. government to not deport the detainees.