The ruling keeping Iraqi immigrants in Metro Detroit from being deported may expire Monday after a judge did not make a new decision Friday to keep theme in the U.S.
The clock is ticking after another hearing in federal court involving the status of more than one hundred Iraqi immigrants. Since late June, they have been detained in several states as they face deportation on the grounds of having a criminal record - even if they have served their time.
"There are a lot of people that here have businesses, they pay their taxes, they volunteer to charities. Those people are doing good in the community. I know if they get deported to iraq, it's a very dangerous country. People are killing, people are dying there," said Rita Shaina, whose brother has been detained.
On Friday, the ACLU requested that Judge Mark Goldsmith extend the stay for the people facing deportation, while the Department of Justice argued that Goldsmith doesn't have the power to extend their stay, and this matter should be decided in immigration courts.
The stay will expire this Monday evening at 11:59 p.m.
"We absolutely believe the judge has the power. He's previously found that he has the power. This judge has granted stays so far and we're hopeful he will continue the stay," ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman
Shaina's brother is currently detained in Youngstown, Ohio.
"He calls every day, and he just asks me questions - what's going on, what are you hearing. So I just give him hope and I just tell him that we're praying for you and the others to get out soon," she said.
Attorneys for the DOJ in court on Friday chose not to comment on camera, and FOX 2's calls to the Washington, D.C. office have not been returned.
The ACLU also argued the detainees need more time to have their day in court before a decision is made to deport them.
"Individuals need access to documents to file in immigration court ... It's just like any time you go to court, you need a lot of paperwork, but here, many of these final orders of removal are decades old. I mean they go back to 1986. The attorneys who have those records are gone, those records are gone. Individuals need to get those documents, but it can six months," Aukerman said.
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