Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | iraqi | christians | michigan | arrested

Iraqi Christians Wary of Return as Trump Prepares Mass Deportations

Image: Iraqi Christians Wary of Return as Trump Prepares Mass Deportations
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 09:47 PM

The arrests of more than 100 Iraqi Christian men in Sterling Heights, Mich., have stunned the community since President Donald Trump promised to protect Christians from persecution in the Middle East, the New York Times reports.

Immigration authorities told the Times those arrested were "criminal aliens," as their green cards had been revoked for criminal convictions of theft, rape, murder and drug possession.

"The operation in this region was specifically conducted to address the very real public safety threat represented by the criminal aliens arrested," Rebecca Adducci, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in Detroit, told the Times.

Families and advocates fear the men's deportation a death sentence since it has "become very difficult" to be a Christian in Iraq, according to Canon Andrew White, one of the world's most prominent priests, Fox News reports.

"The second they step foot out of the airport," in Iraq, "they're targets," Wisam Naoum, a lawyer turned community activist, told the Times.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on the promise to prioritize Christians' protection in the Middle East.

"Protecting religious freedom is a foreign-policy priority of the Trump administration" Pence said in May. He also said the persecution of Christians around the world was "of enormous importance."

Iraq in March agreed to begin accepting deportees in order to be dropped from Trump's list of barred countries affected by his travel ban.

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The arrests of more than 100 Iraqi Christian men in Sterling Heights, Mich., have stunned the community since President Donald Trump promised to protect Christians from persecution in the Middle East, the New York Times reports.
iraqi, christians, michigan, arrested, immigration
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2017-47-04
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 09:47 PM
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