Large numbers of Iraqis are being deported back to Iraq because they have broken US laws somewhere along the line, but of course they don’t want to go, so some (the exact number is not being reported) have removed their “tethers.” (Tethers are described here. )
They have had their court hearing and have been ordered deported.
In a story clearly sympathetic to the Iraqi refugees, the Detroit News tells us what is happening to those awaiting deportation. The ACLU claims they are Christians who will be persecuted if returned to the Muslim country.
I think there is likely much more to their ‘stories’ than we are being told, and Christians or not, if they abused our welcome and broke our laws, we really don’t need them here.
Fearing deportation, Iraqi refugees cut tethers
Detroit — A growing number of Iraqi refugees are attempting to “save their own lives” by cutting off their tethers to evade immigration authorities’ deportation attempts before their court cases are heard, families and lawyers say.
At least seven Iraqi nationals have removed their tethers in Michigan in the last month, according to a lawyer representing 23 refugees.
One of them, Ali Al-Sadoon, ditched his tether in July in Detroit on the day he was supposed to be deported.
The 33-year-old refugee from Redford Township now faces criminal charges for removing the ankle GPS tracker in addition to removal orders for breaking and entering, for which he was sentenced in 2013.
But his case is expected to head to a trial he might not have otherwise received.
“The only reason Ali cut his tether was because he was scared …” said his wife, Belqis Florido. “They sentenced him to death.”
Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also arrested Wisam Hamana, 39, of Hazel Park and Baha Al-Said, 35, of Ann Arbor after both cut their tethers. Another Iraqi national, Oliver Awshana, 31, was deported from Calhoun County Correctional facility and made such a scene while transferring flights in Chicago that the pilot refused to fly him, his lawyers said.
The ACLU of Michigan has argued in federal court, where the detainees’ fates have played out for the past two years since immigration raids in June 2017, against repatriation to Iraq because, it says, if the men are sent back, they face torture or death because of their Christian faith, for having served in the U.S. military or for seeking U.S. asylum.
Be sure to note that those being deported have not become US citizens. If they came legally as refugees, then why didn’t they become citizens?
Shanta Driver, an attorney representing 23 Iraqi nationals, said the refugees cut their tethers because they “get to a point of desperation.”
The men are being deported for committing crimes that the government believes violate U.S. immigration laws. [What does she mean “believes.” These men had their day in court.—-ed]
They are more vulnerable to deportation after being released from detention because their immigration cases were denied and they are seeking emergency stays so they can appeal their cases. ICE, meanwhile, is expediting deportations before that can happen, Driver said.
ICE officials said cutting off the tethers has forced the agency to detain the men again and file federal charges for the act.
A bill introduced in Congress seeks to slow the process of deportation for Iraqi nationals who have committed crimes. The bill sponsors are here. No surprise that Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are among its co-sponsors. Worried about the Christians are they?
“The State Department has evacuated all non-essential American personnel from Iraq because it is so dangerous, yet the administration is simultaneously trying to deport longstanding members of our community to Iraq, even though they face persecution, torture and death,” ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman said. “… A fair process takes time, which is why it is so critical that Congress pass the bipartisan bill to pause Iraqi deportations. Many Iraqis have won their immigration cases, but they need time to do so.”
A bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes to help their cases with a bill that would grant Iraqi nationals relief from detainment and deportation while they await individual hearings before immigration judges. The bill would exclude those who pose a threat to national security. Democratic U.S. Rep. Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township and Republican Rep. John Moolenaar of Midland are spearheading the bill backed by 30 lawmakers across the country.
Michigan’s 9th District, represented by Levin, has the largest Iraqi-born community of any congressional district in the country, according to census data. Levin said they sent letters to Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and are working with the executive branch requesting intervention.
The story is very long, continue reading here.