Bipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals

A bipartisan group of at least 20 lawmakers has sent a letter asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to halt the mass deportation of about 1,000 Iraqi nationals.  

The members said in their letter that a recent federal court decision puts the Iraqi nationals, including religious and ethnic minorities, at risk for deportation. 

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"We ask that the Administration use its authority and discretion to defer deporting members of this group, consider their cases one-by-one for humanitarian waivers, and allow each of them sufficient time and opportunity to seek reopening of their immigration proceedings, so that current law can be applied to current facts," they wrote. "These are individuals, and they each should be treated with attention to their individual circumstances."

They added that many of the Iraqis would face "grave danger" in their home nation, particularly religious minorities. 

"Chaldean Christians face active persecution in Iraq, and they will likely be subject to discrimination, violence, and possibly torture or death if deported to Iraq,"  the lawmakers said. 

They requested a response detailing how the administration will handle the situation by April 15. 

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