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Lawyers: Iraqi Detainees Being Coerced Into Deportation

June 14, 2018 - 8:27 pm

DETROIT (AP) - Lawyers for detained Iraqi-Americans say U.S. immigration agents are forcing their clients to agree to deportation.

A judge has set a hearing for Monday in Detroit's federal court. A motion filed Wednesday seeks to protect about 100 Iraqi nationals under deportation orders.

Attorneys representing the detainees say many are Christians or members of other minority groups who would be persecuted if returned to Iraq.

The case stems from a June 2017 roundup of Detroit-area Iraqis. They had been facing removal for years for immigration violations, such as overstaying their visas, or for committing crimes - some violent - in the United States.

A Detroit judge stopped their immediate deportations so immigration judges could hear their cases. Their broader case is being heard by a federal appeals court.