District Judge Mark Goldsmith granted a two-week stay on Monday to approximately 1,400 Iraqi immigrants facing deportation.
Thursday, Goldsmith first issued a stay to the 114 Iraqis from Michigan– a fraction of the immigrants facing deportation after a nationwide sweep by ICE. Around 85 outside of Michigan even faced departure as soon as today. After the Thursday ruling, ACLU filed the request that the delay be extended to all Iraqi nationals facing deportation, not just Michigan residents.
Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, said in a video, “People, whether they’ve been living in California, Texas, Ohio, or Michigan all face the same danger, and all we’re asking for is an opportunity to show that danger to the immigration court to get a stay.”
Before the ruling extended to include immigrants outside of Michigan, Steinberg said that it was “impossible to represent them all” because the immigrants were being moved around too frequently.
This action follows final orders that the immigrants–with criminal records and insufficient documentation– be deported to Iraq, an order that left family members and the Chaldean community confused and distraught. As Christians and other religious minorities, they would be targeted in the genocide zone of Iraq.
In his order that froze the departure of the Michigan residents, Goldsmith stated, “Irreparable harm is made out by the significant chance of loss of life and lesser forms of persecution that Petitioners have substantiated. Such harm far outweighs an 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.”
The stay offers an opportunity to reopen cases with the immigration court.