Trump Gets Appeals Court Win Allowing U.S. to Deport Iraqis

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration can’t be barred from deporting a group of Iraqis jailed in the Detroit area, according to a federal appeals court, which reversed a lower court’s order blocking the government from taking action.

  • The appeals court in Cincinnati vacated a pair of preliminary injunctions that had halted the group’s deportation and ordered bond hearings for their release from jail.
  • “Those injunctions had undercut the executive branch’s authority and duty to detain and remove aliens -- aliens who had been ordered removed from the United States long ago,” Steven Stafford, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in a written
    statement.
  • “We believe the decision is legally flawed and are evaluating next steps,” said the ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, who argued the case for plaintiffs.

Key Insights

  • Another appeal is likely, either to the entire panel of judges at the Sixth Circuit or to the nation’s highest court.
  • The appeals court determined that the underlying court in Detroit lacked jurisdiction to issue either injunction.
  • In a July ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said the removal process couldn’t be rushed because the group was returning to a country where they might face a “grisly fate” including persecution and torture.
  • The group of Iraqis were ordered removed to Iraq years ago, some decades ago, because they were convicted of crimes or had overstayed their visas. The immigrants’ cases were dormant for years before the Trump administration abruptly moved for deportation.
  • The ACLU sued in June 2017 after the Iraqis were rounded up and detained.
  • The lower court found in November that the Trump administration had lied to keep the group in jail.

The case is Hamama v. Adducci, 17-cv-11910, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).

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