US court blocks deportation of 1,400 Iraqi nationals

Detroit, 24th July 2017: Following intervention by SRT grantees the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a US federal court has again blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals who could face persecution, torture, and death if returned to Iraq.

The ACLU previously obtained a temporary order that blocked the removal of the Iraqis – many of whom have been in the US for decades – until they have a meaningful opportunity to seek protection from removal. That order was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on 24th July. Today’s ruling grants the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction, which extends the prohibition of removal until the court can fully consider the case.

The case, Hamama v. Adducci, was filed against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the US District Court/Eastern Michigan District. In addition to the ACLU and IRAP, the nationwide class-action lawsuit was brought by CODE Legal Aid, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and the law firm Miller Canfield.

Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, said, ‘ICE does not dispute that Iraq is a dangerous place for our clients, yet at every turn it has insisted to deport our community members into danger, tear their families apart, and deny them their day in immigration court. We’re heartened that the court has once again recognized our country’s commitment to fundamental fairness.’

Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said, ‘This ruling continues to block the government from recklessly sending these individuals into harm’s way. The court’s action could literally save lives.’

The ruling is available here.

More information from the ACLU’s website:

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