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Hearing over possible release of Iraqi nationals set for federal court in Detroit

Immigrants rounded up by ICE agents during summer

DETROIT – What happens Wednesday in Detroit will have a ripple effect for Iraqi nationals across the United States.

Federal judge Mark Goldsmith will decide whether or not to let 100 Iraqi nationals out of detention, where they've been since the summer.

The federal government wants the immigrants deported, while the ACLU and others are fighting for them to stay. Family members are planning to rally in the morning.

Family members said most of the Iraqi nationals are Christians, but most have criminal records. They were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in what has become a complicated legal drama. Their families said if deportation happens, the nationals will be killed back in Iraq.

Warda Slewo's children are making signs for the rally outside federal court, where Goldsmith will hear a motion asking that their father and 100 others be immediately released.

There have been multiple other rallies and other court proceedings in the case.

Immigrants who were picked up by ICE agents this summer are on lists for deportation and have immigration issues. Slewo has been in the country since the early 1990s and served in the U.S. military. He was also convicted of criminal sexual conduct, but his children said once he served his sentence, he became a changed man.

"All of a sudden I was getting the dad I sorely wished for when I was a kid, only to have it ripped away from me, and I know it's pathetic, I need my dad," Slewo's daughter Ashourina Slewo said.

She said if he does get deported back to Iraq, he won't survive.

"Death is what he will face," Ashourina Slewo said.

You can watch Mara MacDonald's full story in the video posted above.


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