Feds tell judge he lacks power to halt Iraqi deportations - WNEM TV 5

Feds tell judge he lacks power to halt Iraqi deportations

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Government lawyers have told a judge that he doesn't have the authority to halt the deportation of more than 100 Iraqi nationals from the Detroit area.

Judge Mark Goldsmith held a hearing Wednesday in federal court. The U.S. Justice Department says the detainees must go to immigration court to try to stay in the United States, not U.S. District Court.

But attorneys for the Iraqi natives say they could be deported before they can appear in an immigration court.

The American Civil Liberties Union says most of the 114 recently arrested Iraqis are Chaldean Christians. Many have been in the U.S. for decades. They fear torture or death if sent back to Iraq.

Goldsmith didn't make an immediate decision. The government says no one will be deported before next Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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