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U.S. Group Seeks Widening Of Court Order Preventing Deportation Of Iraqis

An advocacy group has asked a U.S. judge to widen an order that temporarily blocked the deportation of Iraqis living in Michigan to cover Iraqis nationwide.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on June 24 filed an amended complaint seeking to prevent immigration officials from deporting Iraqis from anywhere in the United States while a federal judge considers the case involving the Iraqis in Michigan.

On June 22, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered a stay in the Michigan Iraqis' deportation for at least 14 days while he decides whether his court has jurisdiction in the case.

The ACLU asked Goldsmith to rule by June 26 on its request that the order cover the 1,444 Iraqis facing deportation across the country.

The ACLU said those being deported could face persecution in Iraq because many were Chaldean Catholics or Iraqi Kurds, groups it said were targets of ill treatment in Iraq.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has indicated it could begin deporting the Iraqis as soon as June 27.

The Michigan Iraqis facing deportation were arrested in sweeps earlier this month, and the government said all have criminal convictions. Some had come to the United States as children and committed the crimes decades ago.

The deportation orders stem from an agreement with the Iraqi government to accept deportees in return for the country being removed from President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters