Since the battle began, 103,872 people have been displaced, the vast majority from Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital. (AFP)
By Sonia Farid
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents rounded up 200 Iraqi Chaldeans -114 from the Detroit area and the rest from different parts of the country, for deportation. This step followed a deal in which Iraq accepted to receive deportees from the US in return for the removal of its name from Donald Trump’s travel ban imposed on seven Muslim-majority countries.
While this is also part of the crackdown enforced by the Trump administration on undocumented immigrants, the Chaldean issue is quite complicated since their deportation could be equivalent to sending them to their death and that is why pressure has been mounting to handle their case differently.
Gillian Christensen, representative of Homeland Security Department, explained that the decision to deport the Chaldeans is legal since all of them were convicted in different crimes in the past including “homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations” among others: “Each of these individuals received full and fair immigration proceedings, after which a federal immigration judge found them ineligible for any form of relief under US law and ordered them removed,” she said in a statement.
The ICE also issued a statement stressing that in the arrests its personnel have been doing their routine work of detecting “removable aliens” as the statement put it.
John Moody, Fox News executive vice president and executive editor, argued that the deportation of Chaldeans is a misinterpretation of Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. “That’s probably not what Trump intended when he ordered a round-up of alien criminals,” he wrote.