Judge tells U.S.: Stop meddling with detained Iraqi nationals

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered U.S. immigration officers to stop talking to detained Iraqi-Americans about their cases after lawyers claimed staff members were trying to pressure them to agree to deportation.

The American Civil Liberties Union says Iraqi natives who were arrested last year have been told they'll spend years in custody if they don't voluntarily return to Iraq. Detroit federal Judge Mark Goldsmith on Wednesday ordered the government to stop engaging the detainees.

The case stems from a roundup of mostly Detroit-area Iraqis. They were facing removal for years for immigration violations, such as overstaying their visas, or for committing crimes in the U.S., but the cases mostly had been suspended until 2017.

Goldsmith has stopped any deportations so immigration judges can hear their cases. His earlier decisions are being appealed.

Published: Fri, Jun 22, 2018