Families, friends protest ICE sweep in metro Detroit - WNEM TV 5

Families, friends protest ICE sweep in metro Detroit

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Families and friends voiced their frustrations after ICE detained several undocumented Iraqi immigrants across metro Detroit.

"He has no family there to help him. No home, no nothing. What are they gonna do? Send him to be crucified. They can't do that,” said Monica, the cousin of a detainee.

Family members were in fear as they thought about what could happen to loved ones if they were sent back to Iraq.

"Now we're Christians. You're throwing us into a death trap,” said Steve Khoushava, the brother of a detainee.

Early on Sunday morning, Immigration Customs and Enforcement reportedly targeted at least 100 different Iraqi residents without a legal status.

"ICE members were holding up places like church, local restaurants, popular restaurants in the area, a local Tim Hortons that's very popular with some community members. So, it was an organized, deliberate effort on a Sunday,” said Nathan Kalasho, a Chaldean community advocate.

Agents initially took the detainees to an ICE office in downtown Detroit, then boarded them on buses for departure.

As family members caught wind, they began to show up one after the other in protest - all of them worried about loved ones being sent back to a country that's battling for control with ISIS, a terrorist group that has vowed to persecute Christians.

ICE released a statement, saying:

"As a result of recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq, Iraq has recently agreed to accept a number of Iraqi nationals subject to orders of removal.

As part of ICE's efforts to process the backlog of these individuals, the agency recently arrested a number of them, all of whom have criminal convictions."

But the families say it's time to move on.

"He's done his time, he's done his probation, but he hasn't made not one mistake ever since,” Khoushava said.

ICE said so far none of the detainees have been deported and that they're all ineligible for any form of relief.

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