US judge extends halt on Iraqi deportations

Family members of detainees line up to enter the federal court just before a hearing to consider a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Iraqi nationals facing deportation, in Detroit, Michigan. (Reuters)
Updated 07 July 2017
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US judge extends halt on Iraqi deportations

A federal judge on Thursday halted the deportation of all Iraqi nationals detained during recent immigration sweeps across the United States until at least July 24, extending a stay that was originally set to expire on Monday.
US District Judge Mark Goldsmith in Detroit said there was “good cause” to extend the stay, which was sought by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says those arrested in immigration enforcement operations last month mostly in Michigan and Tennessee face persecution, torture or death if they are deported to Iraq.
Many of 199 Iraqis detained — largely in the Detroit area and in Nashville — were Chaldean Catholics and Iraqi Kurds. Both groups say they could be targeted for attacks in Iraq because they are visible minorities.
Those arrested by immigration authorities had outstanding deportation orders and many had been convicted of serious crimes, ranging from homicide to weapons and drug charges, according to the US government.
Some of those affected came to the United States as children and committed their crimes decades ago, but they had been allowed to stay because Iraq previously declined to issue them travel documents. The US government considered Iraq one of the recalcitrant countries that refused to accept back people ordered deported by US immigration courts.
That changed after Iraq agreed in March to start accepting US deportees as part of a deal that removed the country from President Donald Trump’s revised temporary travel ban.
Goldsmith ruled earlier that the stay should be applied to allow detainees time to find legal representation to appeal against their deportation orders.


US’ Mike Pompeo calls on UN to re-impose ballistic missile restrictions on Iran

Updated 22 min 11 sec ago
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US’ Mike Pompeo calls on UN to re-impose ballistic missile restrictions on Iran

NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the US is seeking to re-impose previous UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, and that the UN should not lift an arms embargo on Iran in 2020.

He added that Iran does not comply with UN resolutions and continues to support terrorism around the world, including in Lebanon and its ties to Al-Qaeda, and that the US has evidence that Iran is supplying the Houthis in Yemen with missiles and weapons. 

Pompeo said that the US’s continued “goodwill gestures” had been “futile in correcting Iran’s missile activity” and its “destructive behavior.”

Eight EU nations underlined their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal while urging Tehran to stop its "destabilizing regional activities," especially the launch of ballistic missiles.

Their statement said: "It has been confirmed that Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments."

But they warned that ballistic-missile-related activities including "the launch of nuclear-capable missiles and any transfers of missiles, missile technologies and components" would violate Security Council resolutions.

Ambassadors of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and United Kingdom issued the statement outside the UN Security Council on Wednesday ahead of a meeting on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement and the council resolution endorsing it.