Levin to ICE: Ensure Detained Chaldeans Can Contact Attorneys, Families

Jul 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09), today wrote to the Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) Detroit Field Office in response to recent reports that detained Iraqi Americans, many of whom are Chaldean, are not provided regular contact with their attorneys and families. The letter also reiterated Levin’s previous request for key information about the detainees.

“As you know, many of those detained from the Metro Detroit area have significant ties to the community, including spouses and children who are U.S. citizens.  I am informed that a large number of these individuals are now being held in Arizona making family visitation and attorney meetings nearly impossible with others remaining in Youngstown, Ohio which is still over 200 miles from their homes and families. There were also reports that their phone service was cut off for a number of days,” Levin wrote. “I strongly urge your office to ensure that those detained have the ability to regularly contact their attorneys and family members, including by considering holding them in a facility closer to their homes and families.”

Levin first requested information regarding those arrested on a June 12 call with the Detroit office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and followed up that call with multiple emails and a formal letter on June 16. On June 14, he and several other Michigan Members of Congress sent a letter requesting the agreement between Iraq and the U.S. for deportees.

On June 28, he submitted a FOIA request to ICE key information on the Iraqi Americans from the metro-Detroit area arrested and slated for deportation, and unclassified communication relating to any agreements on the repatriation of Iraqis residing in the U.S

A pdf version of the letter is available here, and the full text is below:

Dear Director Adducci:

I am writing regarding recent reports raising concerns about the ability of Chaldeans and other Iraqi nationals being detained for deportation to have regular contact with their families and attorneys, as well as to reiterate my request for specific information regarding the detainees. 

As you know, many of those detained from the Metro Detroit area have significant ties to the community, including spouses and children who are U.S. citizens.  I am informed that a large number of these individuals are now being held in Arizona making family visitation and attorney meetings nearly impossible with others remaining in Youngstown, Ohio which is still over 200 miles from their homes and families.  There were also reports that their phone service was cut off for a number of days.  I strongly urge your office to ensure that those detained have the ability to regularly contact their attorneys and family members, including by considering holding them in a facility closer to their homes and families.  I would appreciate your sending me the latest information on where the detainees are being held and details as to their ability to be visited by family and attorneys and be in touch by phone.

Both ICE and more recently the Department of Justice’s civil division have made selective public statements with asserted details related to these individuals, while failing to make public broader information about their status.  Therefore, I am reiterating a repeated request that your office provide information on the Iraqi nationals now being detained from the Metro-Detroit community:  

Name
Case number
Date of Order of Deportation
Age
Gender
Age when arrived in US
Occupation
Whether married
Number and age of children
Legal status of spouse and children (i.e. US citizen, green card holder)
Crime that forms the basis for deportation
When sentenced and actual sentence received
If probation, any violations of probation
Any additional sentence for the violation
Status of check-ins with ICE
Extent of family in Iraq      
When last visited Iraq

If you don’t have each item for each individual, or do not wish to provide identifying information, please just indicate that and immediately send what information you have available.

As you are aware, there is deep concern over the actions taken by your office to suddenly detain 114 Iraqi nationals in preparation to deport them to a potentially life-threatening situation in Iraq.  I therefore request a response to this letter as soon as you are able to provide one.

Sincerely,

Sander Levin

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