“Baghdad ha perduto la sua bellezza e non ne è rimasto che il nome.
Rispetto a ciò che essa era un tempo, prima che gli eventi la colpissero e gli occhi delle calamità si rivolgessero a lei, essa non è più che una traccia annullata, o una sembianza di emergente fantasma”
The American Civil Liberties Union
will argue today against federal immigration authorities indefinitely
detaining Iraqi nationals and attempting to deport them without trial.
Cincinnati federal appeals court is set to hear the ACLU's arguments in
the defense of about 100 Iraqi nationals detained in Immigration and
Customs Enforcement raids conducted in the Detroit area last June. At
previous hearings, courts ruled in favor of the Iraqi nationals'
constitutionally guaranteed rights to a fair trial, and against their
indefinite detention. The Trump administration is appealing those
President Donald Trump's
second executive order barring travelers from Muslim-majority countries
removed Iraq from the list of affected countries in the first
iteration. As part of the arrangements that redacted Iraq from the list,
Baghdad agreed to accept deportees it had previously blocked Washington
from repatriating, the text
of the second travel ban says. Following the order, ICE raids across
the country rounded up around 300 Iraqi nationals, including those in
and around Detroit.
of the people apprehended in the raids are Iraqi ethnic and religious
minorities, including Chaldean Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, and adherents
of Muslim-minority sects. "Once you start with religious bigotry in the
Muslim ban, those consequences extend," Miriam Aukerman, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Michigan branch, tells Pacific Standard. Indeed, in the aftermath of the first ban and the ensuing chaos at airports across the United States, many Jewish and Christian travelers entering the country faced difficulties with border authorities owing to their Middle Eastern origins.
Usama Jamil Hamama, the man for whom the case Hamama v. Adducci is
named (Rebecca Adducci is the director of ICE's Detroit field office),
is himself a Chaldean Christian who was detained in the ICE raids as he
was preparing to take his daughter to soccer practice, Aukerman says.
The initial filing by
the ACLU against Hamama's and other Iraqi nationals' deportation
proceedings argues that Hamama "fears removal to Iraq, especially
because his status as a Chaldean makes him a target for violence and
persecution," and that without a day in immigration court, the
deportation might amount to a death sentence.