Levin Statement on the Lifting of Stays of Removal for Iraqi Nationals

April 9, 2019
Press Release

On the first day that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could begin the wholesale detention and deportation of Iraqi nationals following a ruling in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week, Congressman Andy Levin made the following statement:

“On Friday, 23 bipartisan lawmakers from around the country came together to call on ICE and DHS to halt the wholesale detention and deportation of Iraqi nationals, many of whom are Chaldean Christian. Since then, conversations have been ongoing and support to allow Iraqis to have their cases heard individually in court has grown significantly.

“I am in talks with fellow lawmakers to provide a legislative solution—one that could receive broad bipartisan support—for the Iraqi nationals to provide relief from deportation. 

“Additionally, with the complete change in top leadership at DHS and ICE, now is not the time to implement a sweeping, drastic deportation effort with huge, dangerous implications.

“For these reasons, ICE and DHS must not move forward with mass removal. I will continue working with members of the executive branch, the Michigan Chaldean community and fellow lawmakers to develop a solution to this precarious situation.”

Congressmen Andy Levin and John Moolenaar led the bipartisan letter that was sent to DHS and ICE last Friday. Over the weekend, Congressman Levin held a press conference with Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib, in addition to Iraqi families facing deportation and immigration attorneys, to discuss the state of Iraqi deportations and a path forward.