Trump Vows to Reverse Course on Deportations of Iraqi Christians

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FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks to employees gathered at Dana Incorporated during a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan, US, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
US President Donald Trump promised on Thursday to reverse course on some deportations of Iraqi Christians whom his administration sought to remove earlier in his term, but gave no specifics.

Trump said during an event at an auto parts manufacturer in the city of Warren, Michigan, that his administration would grant an “extension” to Iraqi Chaldean Catholic immigrants, a group that has been targeted for immigration enforcement during his presidency.

“We’re going to make sure that we do everything we can to keep people who have been good to this country out of harm’s way,” Trump said. “When I get back, we’re going to give those who need it an extension to stay in our country.”

Trump launched a broad immigration crackdown after taking office that included arrests of Iraqi Chaldean Catholics with outstanding deportation orders in the Detroit area, some of whom had lived in the United States for decades.

Some of the arrests took place in Michigan’s Macomb County, which Trump won by 53.6 percent in 2016 with the support of many in its Iraqi Christian community.

Federal immigration authorities previously had been unable to remove the Iraqi immigrants because the government in Baghdad would not accept them. But Iraq agreed in 2017 to accept US deportees as part of a deal to remove it from the Trump administration’s travel ban list.