Immigrant Client Spared from Deportation to Iraq After 13-Month Detention

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Immigrant Client Spared from Deportation to Iraq After 13-Month Detention

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Schiff successfully secured complete relief from deportation to Iraq for a pro bono client who was detained for over 13 months by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Our client was brought to the United States from Iraq by his parents as a young child in the 1980s, and settled in the Detroit area. In 2013, after a series of misdemeanor convictions, immigration proceedings resulted in a deportation order. However, deportation could not be effectuated at that time based on the Iraqi Government’s refusal to accept deportees from the U.S. After an alleged agreement made last year by the Iraqi Government to begin accepting deportees, ICE conducted a series of raids on Iraqi nationals in the Detroit area and elsewhere in the U.S., seeking their immediate removal and holding them in detention indefinitely.

Removal to Iraq would have been extremely dangerous for our client due to his minority religious status (Christian) and the fact that he is Americanized. If he had been deported, he would have had arrived in Iraq without identity papers or work authorization, and would have faced a high likelihood of persecution, torture, or death.

Jacob Danziger secured Cancellation of Removal in Immigration Court, after an evidentiary hearing including testimony from our client and family members, cross-examination by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s counsel, and closing arguments. Our client was released without conditions the day after the hearing, was reunited with his family, and is now back to work.

Several of Schiff’s Ann Arbor attorneys have been representing Iraqi nationals in immigration proceedings, following a class action brought by the ACLU to obtain relief allowing each class member to raise an additional procedural challenge to their prior deportation order.