DETROIT (WJBK) - A few hundred people rallied outside the federal courthouse Wednesday to demand more than 100 Iraqi immigrants be allowed to stay in the United States.
Nearly two weeks ago, ICE agents conducted a wide spread raid in Metro Detroit, arresting more than 100 Iraqi immigrants. Although they are in the country legally, the issue would be their criminal records in the countries they left, even if the offenses goes back years, and they've paid their debt.
"Whatever they did, they did their time. My brother has a green card. Whatever he did when he was young, he's been here since he was four years old."
The ACLU was in court on Wednesday to ask for a temporary restraining order to slow down or stop the deportation process in their class action suit. All of the families at the protest have the same fear: if their loved ones are sent to Iraq, they will be executed because of their Christian faith.
Those who have tattoos depicting their Christian faith are likely to be killed shortly after they arrive.
"They're going to be murdered there. We have to get the word out. They have to understand."
The Government argued that the orders for all of the named petitioners in the suit have been in place for years, and that steps have been taken to finish the process.
The ACLU is saying the conditions have changed, regardless of the orders.
"The question is what are the conditions now, and the government has an obligation of their own without us evening telling them to make sure these people will not be tortured and killed," Lee Gelernt said.
Families and attorneys for the ACLU also say the detainees they have not been able to see them.
They were transferred to different states in a short time, concerned they could be deported soon, as far as Louisiana and Arizona.
The number is fluid right now, but the U.S. Attorney stated that some of the petitioners have been granted a stay, and that no one in this case will be deported before June 27th.
"Given the government the immigration court is routinely granting stays, the judge rightly asked why not agree to stays for everyone. That's the difference between life and death and whether you get your papers in on time. So I think the judge asked the right questions," Gelernt said.
The waiting game continues for the families and the ACLU. The judge listened to each side and the judge said he needed to reflect before making a decision.
That decision will be sent out in a statement. No word on how soon that will be.