On April 2, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling to stop the deportations and grant bond hearings to the Iraqi nationals swept up in the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across the country. This recent ruling makes some Iraqi nationals who were previously protected by the court order now vulnerable to deportation as of April 9, 2019.

On Saturday, April 6, Martin Manna, president of the Chaldean Community Foundation, organized a press conference with attorneys and Michigan lawmakers, including U.S. House Reps. Andy Levin, Brenda Lawrence, and Rashida Tlaib.

It was announced that Congressmen Andy Levin and John Moolenaar—with over twenty other bipartisan lawmakers from around the country—sent a letter last week to ICE, urging to halt the deportation and detention of Iraqi nationals so that each case may be heard individually.

You can read Congressman Levin’s press release on the bipartisan letter HERE.

The Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle is in contact and actively working with the Chaldean Community Foundation, State Department, Iraqi Embassy, and other agencies, to let each individual case be heard in court.

As we’ve stated in the past, the Church does not oppose justice and all hardened criminals that are a danger to society should be subject to the law of the land; however, many of the Iraqi nationals who are detained are not hardened criminals but are distinguished citizens who have contributed positively to society in the past few decades.

The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle will continue to speak out for those detained—no matter their religion or their country of origin—and will keep the public updated as this issue unfolds.