Judge Mark Goldsmith
Judge Mark Goldsmith

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court appeals earlier ruling by Judge Mark Goldsmith, now leaving detained Metro Detroit Iraqi individuals subject to deportation.

By JN Staff

After a two-year legal battle, some Metro Detroit Iraqi nationals detained by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement face deportation after the full U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 2 upheld an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel from that court, according to a story in the Detroit News.

In June 2017, the Jewish community immediately reached out to support the Chaldean community when 114 Iraqi Christian immigrants in Metro Detroit were rounded up by immigration authorities.  A team of volunteer attorneys went into Federal District Court and got the emergency order they sought, an immediate stay of removal from Judge Mark Goldsmith that applied nationwide to 1,400 Iraqis. Goldsmith is a member of the Woodward Avenue Shul.

Goldsmith issued a subsequent ruling that the detainees should be given bond hearings and could not be deported until they had a chance to plead their cases in immigration court. That ruling led to hundreds of detainees being released to their families late last year after having spent up to 18 months in detention.

The U.S. government appealed that ruling and a three-judge panel ruled in December that Goldsmith had overstepped his authority. The full U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

The ACLU, which argued that detainees sent back to Iraq could face torture or death for their Christian faith or for having served in the U.S. military, brought the case titled Hamama v. Adducci on which the ruling was based. ACLU attorneys say they have now run out of options.

If Iraq is willing to take them back, attorneys say, those Iraqis still in detention face deportation after April 9, as do those who were released but have yet to request immigration hearings.

The ACLU is urging detainees who have not opened their immigration stay cases in court to do so as soon as possible.