STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) - As many Metro Detroiters celebrate Independence Day, a group of Chaldean-Americans say they're on a mission of a different kind.
"We are here to fight for our brothers and sisters," said Rita Shaina, whose brother is facing deportation. "We're not going to stop this. We're going to fight for the win."
At 15 Mile and Ryan in Sterling Heights, the sounds of protest filled the air as loved ones pled for the safe return of their family members who were arrested in immigration raids.
"If everyone watching thinks that that's OK and that it is our problem no, we're first, who's next?" said Ninevah, whose husband is facing deportation.
Many family members say it's hard to celebrate freedom on the Fourth of July when their loved ones are not free.
"I'm celebrating Independence Day by fighting for my husband's independence. That's what I'm doing, and everyone else can have their BBQs and everything, but that's not what Independence Day is about. We're supposed to fight for our freedom," Ninevah said.
Just last week, a U.S. district judge expanded a recent 14-day stay on deportations of Metro Detroit Iraqi immigrants into a nationwide stay.
These protesters say they're hopeful their loved ones will not be deported.
"At least give them a chance to reopen their cases and individually get judged," Ninevah said.
Many family members say if their loved ones are deported it will be a death sentence.
"There's a genocide going on in Middle East. ... How are you going to send the people back there? Whether they're Christians or Muslims, they're going to get killed," Shaina said.
As motorists sound their horns to show support, this 7 year old says this is his first Fourth of July holiday without his dad by his side and he hopes he will be released soon.
"If he can come back home because I really miss him," Mariano Khasawi said.