DETROIT (WJBK) - A federal judge in Detroit is considering whether to put a temporary national halt on the deportation of Iraqi nationals recently rounded up by U.S. authorities.
Judge Mark Goldsmith held an emergency hearing Monday on the request by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU wants to expand its case beyond the roughly 114 detainees arrested in the Detroit area. It says more than 1,000 people could be detained nationwide.
The hearing lasted about an hour Monday morning. We're now waiting for the judge's written ruling to see what his decision is.
Goldsmith signed a 14-day freeze Thursday. He said he needed time to determine if he has jurisdiction. Many of the deportations will start on Tuesday.
The detainees fear they could be persecuted in Iraq, which has agreed to accept them. They want to suspend the deportations so they can further argue that their removal would be dangerous.
"My husband, he has a big tattoo of Mary Mother of God. Once he gets to Iraq and they're going to see this, Isis or whoever is there, they're going to kill him right away," one woman told us. Many others have the same fear that their loved ones would get murdered once they get to the country.
All of the people who are at risk of deportation have some sort of criminal record.
Right now, a two-week temporary stay is in effect for those at risk of deportation in Detroit. After today's emergency hearing, the temporary stay could include everyone who's at risk in the country.
Meanwhile, on the same day as the emergency hearing, the Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration mostly enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked it.
Iraq is not included in that travel ban, but ban would apply to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The justices will hear arguments in the travel ban case in October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report