DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on a legal challenge to the U.S. government's plan to deport 1,400 Iraqi nationals (all times local):
A federal judge in Detroit has barred the federal government from deporting any Iraqi nationals from the U.S. while he determines whether he has authority to further postpone their removal.
Judge Mark Goldsmith's order lasts 14 days. He made an identical decision last week for 114 Iraqi natives recently rounded up in the Detroit area. His new order, signed Monday night, extends to 1,400 people under deportation orders. Not all are in custody.
They fear they will be persecuted, tortured or killed if returned to Iraq. Many are Christian. The U.S. wants to kick them out for committing crimes now that Iraq has agreed to accept them.
The goal of those targeted for deportation is to suspend the process so they go to an immigration judge and seek a permanent reversal.
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.