Judge blocks deportation of Iraqi detainees while cases proceed through court

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jul 11, 2017

There are new developments in the deportation case involving more than 1,400 Iraqi Nationals, a court ruling will grant them court hearings before deportation.

On July 6, the courts already granted a stay on deportation to all the people involved until July 24, this hearing confirms that will remain in effect.  There will be a status conference on July 13 to determine the next steps in this court process.

Tuesday marks exactly one month since Immigration Customs Agents made the arrests. Many loved ones haven’t seen each other in that entire time.  Some of the people in custody are being held in Ohio, Arizona and Louisiana.

Nadine Yousif Kalasho is the president of CODE Legal Aid, she’s been helping 200 families from the metro area since the ICE arrests.  She calls this decision the biggest hurdle they’ve crossed yet, but it’s not a victory.

"Immigration court still has to hear these individual cases, but he's giving us the opportunity to present more information to him and we're happy we get more relief for these families,” said Kalasho.

She said the court hearings for these people will be crucial.

"You cannot send these people back to a country where the could be persecuted tortured or killed just because of who they are,” said Kalasho.

Families have devastated as this situation plays out.  Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons sitting in jail cells as deportation looms.

"It literally feels like you have cancer and you don't know if you're going to die tomorrow and he's all I have,” said Ninevah Youkhanna, whose husband is in custody.

"We came here when we were four, we don't know nothing about Iraq, we've lived here all of our life, this is our country, I wouldn't want to go back and I don't want my brother to go back and get killed, we're Catholic,” said Dunia Hormez, her brother is in custody.

They are happy for this victory but they want their loved ones home. 

"It's an amazing feeling, you get to breath a little but there's still a long fight ahead, but it is a great big step that we did take today,” said Ninevah.