20 Chaldean Iraqi Christians Are Still Being Detained by Immigration Officials In California Four Months After Fleeing ISIS

(Photo: Screenshot/Al Jazeera) Mark Arabo, a spokesmen for the Chaldean community speaks to Al Jazeera in Southern California, July 2015.
(Photo: Screenshot/Al Jazeera)
Mark Arabo, a spokesmen for the Chaldean community speaks to Al Jazeera in Southern California, July 2015.

Despite having family members to sponsor them, a group of 20 Chaldean Christians who fled ISIS have been detained for over four months at the Otay Detention Facility in San Diego. The large Chaldean community in Southern California are unhappy with the unexplained delays and are demanding their release.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claim they are undermanned and face a backlog of cases but have offered little to the media about the prolonged detention of the Chaldean 20.

Mark Arabo, an activist and spokesmen for the local Chaldean community says, “What we do know is that they are being held without a real reason.”

Arabo has pleaded with the highest levels of government demanding action for the group being held.

“We are protesting, we are talking to the State Department, and the White House and Congress, and we are putting pressure to make sure they release these twenty people,” he declared to Al Jazeera. Arabo believes the excuses from immigration officials about indefinitely detaining them for bureaucratic reasons is “hard to believe.”

Arabo pointed out that the men and women in detention have been held too long even by the government’s own standards. The vast majority of foreign nationals detained or arrested by ICE are released under some form of supervision, according to their own statement.

“They’ve escaped hell. Let’s allow them to reunite with their families,” says Arabo. According to a Los Angeles Times report and an ACLU attorney in San Diego, detainees held for six months that have not seen a judge are by law required to have a court hearing.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Ray Nothstine

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