KEY NEWS & DOCUMENTS:
ACLU Wins Emergency Order from U.S. District Court Preventing Harassment of Iraqi Detainees
Attorneys Can Visit Clients; ICE Will Tell Detainees They Can’t Be Deported for Refusing to Go to Iraq
DETROIT – U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith today issued an emergency order granting immediate relief to Iraqi detainees. The order prohibits harassment by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intended to pressure long-time U.S. residents into agreeing to be deported.
“The Court today granted extensive relief designed to stop the abuses and ensure that we can inform our clients of their rights,” said Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan. “We will be able to get into the detention centers to help ensure our clients are not threatened or coerced. And ICE will be required to notify our clients that they cannot be punished just because they refuse to say they want to go to Iraq. It is not a crime to want to stay in America with your family. We are glad that the judge made sure that our clients -- and ICE -- know that.”
The motion is the latest development in Hamama v. Adducci, a nationwide class action lawsuit filed in June 2017 to protect hundreds of Iraqi nationals who have been living in the U.S. for decades, but were arrested throughout the country without warning, detained and threatened with immediate deportation. Many came to the U.S. as children, now have families, and have been living and working in the U.S. for decades.
Last summer Judge Mark Goldsmith stopped the immediate deportation of hundreds of Iraqis who were arrested on old orders of removal, allowing them an opportunity to have their cases heard by an immigration judge. The lawsuit also won bond hearings for many of the detainees while they fight their immigration cases.
In addition to the ACLU, the nationwide class-action lawsuit was brought by CODE Legal Aid, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, International Refugee Assistance Project, and the law firm Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone.