Judge Considering National Freeze on Deportations of Iraqis

Iraqis and supporters rally outside the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Detroit. A hearing began on a lawsuit that seeks to stop the government from deporting more than 100 Iraqi nationals who were recently rounded up. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court in Detroit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seeking a temporary stay of deportations. The ACLU says possible deportations aren’t expected at least until after the request is heard. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Lawyers for Iraqi natives who fear they could be tortured or killed if kicked out of the U.S. have asked a judge to temporarily block their deportations.

Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith didn’t issue a ruling during Monday’s hearing in Detroit. He ordered a 14-day stay last week for 114 people who were rounded up in the Detroit area, including many who are Christian. The American Civil Liberties Union wants Goldsmith to extend his stay nationwide.

The U.S. government says 1,400 Iraqi nationals are under deportation orders, although most are not in custody. The U.S. wants to kick them out for committing crimes now that Iraq has agreed to accept them.

The Justice Department argues that a district judge like Goldsmith doesn’t have the authority to intervene in the dispute.

Source: Associated Press