(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday ruled that the government cannot immediately deport nearly 200 Iraqi immigrants arrested last month who argued they would face persecution if they were removed from the country.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith in Michigan said he had the authority to order the government to keep the Iraqis in the county while their deportation cases were reviewed by the courts.
In his ruling, Goldsmith said sending the Iraqis back now would expose them to a “substantiated risk of death, torture, or other grave persecution before their legal claims can be tested in a court.”
Many of the 199 Iraqis detained – largely in the Detroit area but also in Tennessee, New Mexico and California – were Chaldean Catholics and Iraqi Kurds. Both groups said they could be targeted for attacks in Iraq because they are visible minorities. The government is seeking to deport over …
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