Protests in Detroit following Immigration and Customs Enforcement targeting Chaldean Christian Iraqis
Up to 80 people were arrested in Detroit during heavy immigration sweeps conducted by ICE on Sunday
Dozens of Chaldean Christian Iraqis are included in those arrests
Those arrested were being taken to Ohio where they will be deported back to Iraq
Many are concerned those being deported will face persecution for their religious beliefs
It is reported that up to 80 Iraqi Christians and other immigrants were arrested in Detroit on Sunday during a huge immigration sweep conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The arrests spawned protesters who attempted to stop buses full of terrified Iraqis terrified.
On Sunday morning, up to 40 people were arrested in immigration sweeps that took place in Sterling Heights, West Bloomfield, and in Dearborn. Among those arrested were dozens of Chaldean Christian Iraqis. It was reported that a majority of those arrested had criminal records, with some crimes committed years ago.
Those arrested fear for their lives due to the very real threat of persecution for their religion should they be deported to Iraq. Everyone arrested during the sweep were taken to the ICE office in downtown Detroit, then placed in buses before being transported to Northeast Correctional Facility in Youngstown, Ohio.
From Ohio, they prepare for their final deportation back to Iraq, according to immigration attorney Eman Jajonie-Daman. Jajonie-Daman is representing at least 25 of those arrested on Sunday.
Chaldean Catholic Church
The Chaldean Catholic Church emerged from the Church of Mosul in 1681 and the Church of the East in 1830. In Article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution the Chaldean are mentioned as a distinct ethnic group in. Many Chaldeans have migrated to other countries, such as America, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Germany.
Many Chaldeans have also migrated to Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, and Georgia. Almost all who migrated did so due to poor economic conditions during the Sanctions against Iraq, Religious and Ethnic persecution, and poor security conditions after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The decision to deport Christian Iraqis comes from the same government that deemed there is genocide occurring against Christians and other minorities in Iraq. Deporting these Christian immigrants could very well be signing their death certificates. Families and supporters gathered in protest to try and prevent the buses from leaving.
Hundreds Of Immigrants Arrested
Sunday’s sweep followed hundred of immigrants, including Kurdish refugees, in Texas, Tennessee, and California. ICE released the following statement in response to the arrests:
“As a result of recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq, Iraq has recently agreed to accept a number of Iraqi nationals subject to orders of removal. As part of ICE’s efforts to process the backlog of these individuals, the agency recently arrested a number of Iraqi nationals, all of whom had criminal convictions for crimes including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations and other offenses.”