- May 27, 2020
An American lawyer instrumental in aiding Iraqi Christians suffering from attacks by the Islamic State group said Christians remain a vital part of Iraq’s diverse society, despite their diminishing numbers.
With its one stoplight and surrounding cornfields, the small Ohio village of Carey seems an unlikely travel destination. Yet, once a year, an estimated 5,000 visitors swell the town population to more than double.
Complicating matters for immigrants apprehended by ICE is that the agency moves detainees rapidly from location to location, making it even tougher for them to obtain counsel and access to federal or immigration courts, according to the ACLU suit.
Clarence Dass, an attorney representing many Iraqi Christians the U.S. government wants deported deported, said he was “ecstatic” over a court decision delaying the order. “When your life is on the line, each day is a victory. And in this case, 14 days,” Dass said. “We now have the breathing room to ensure that every individual detained has the proper motions filed and, ultimately, a chance to be heard. The work continues.”
Recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq have led to the deportation of more than 100 Chaldean Christians who were residing in the country, leading the Catholic bishops to write a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security urging him to halt the arrests.
“On a practical level, this is mind-boggling,” said Nina Shea, an international human-rights lawyer who runs the Center for Religious Freedom at the Washington-based Hudson Institute. She can’t think of a safe destination for the Chaldeans in Iraq. “The director of Homeland Security — does he know that there has been a genocide declared there by the United States? Had anyone told him? Does ICE know this?”