The federal court that blocked the immediate deportation of Iraqi nationals in Michigan last week today extended its order nationwide.  

Read the decision.

The move helps ensures that Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not deport individuals who face persecution, torture, and death in Iraq without having a chance to prove their lives would be in danger if returned to Iraq. The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sought the initial temporary restraining order on behalf of the Detroit-area Iraqi nationals — many of whom have been in the U.S. for decades — who were recently arrested by ICE, and a subsequent request this weekend to make the order nationwide. 

“In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, ICE is putting hundreds of individuals who have lived in this country for decades in grave danger of being persecuted or killed,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. “For many families across the United States, this ruling is like a stay in a death penalty case.”

Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, had this reaction:

“Iraqis nationals not just in Detroit  but all across the U.S. are at risk of torture and death if deported back to Iraq. The court did the right thing to ensure everyone is protected and has a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return.”

The ACLU is also seeking nationwide class-action status in this lawsuit. The case was argued in the U.S. District Court/Eastern Michigan District.

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