Judge considering national freeze on Iraqi deportations

DETROIT (AP) – Lawyers for Iraqi natives who fear they could be tortured or killed if kicked out of the U.S. have asked a judge to temporarily block their deportations.

Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith didn’t issue a ruling during Monday’s hearing in Detroit. He ordered a 14-day stay last week for 114 people who were rounded up in the Detroit area, including many who are Christian. The American Civil Liberties Union wants Goldsmith to extend his stay nationwide.

The U.S. government says 1,400 Iraqi nationals are under deportation orders, although most are not in custody. The U.S. wants to kick them out for committing crimes now that Iraq has agreed to accept them.

The Justice Department argues that a district judge like Goldsmith doesn’t have the authority to intervene in the dispute.

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