ICE Deported A Man To Iraq Who’d Never Been There And He Died
A man who was deported from the US to Iraq in June, despite never having been to the country before, has been found dead in Baghdad.
Jimmy Aldaoud was born in a refugee camp in Greece 41 years ago, before moving to the US with his Iraqi parents six months later.
He spent the majority of his life living in Detroit, where he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year.
Jimmy was deported to Iraq in June, despite never having been there, not knowing the language and pleading with authorities.
In a harrowing Facebook video posted two weeks after his deportation, Jimmy said:
I begged them. I said, ‘Please, I’ve never seen that country, I’ve never been there.’ However, they forced me. I’m here now, and I don’t understand the language or anything, I’ve been sleeping in the street.
I’m diabetic, I take insulin shots, I’ve been throwing up and throwing up, trying to find something to eat.
I’ve got nothing over here as you can see.
According to Politico, Jimmy has since died after being unable to get insulin to treat his diabetes.
Writing on Facebook, immigration attorney Edward Bajoka said:
He was forcefully deported to Iraq a couple of months ago. He was born in Greece and had never been to Iraq. He knew no one there. He did not speak Arabic.
He was a member of the Chaldean minority group. He was a paranoid schizophrenic. His mental health was the primary reason for his legal issues that led to his deportation.
Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration.
Jimmy was from the minority Chaldean Christian community, which has been severely persecuted in Iraq. His lawyer, Chris Schaedig, said ‘he did not know a soul over there’ prior to his death.
According to ICE, Jimmy’s record included roughly 20 convictions spanning across two decades, including assault, domestic violence, home invasion and disorderly conduct. They also insisted he was given enough ‘medicine to ensure continuity of care’ when he was deported, Associated Press reports.
Jimmy was released from custody in December after a federal court ordered the release of Iraqi nationals, however ICE officials said he cut his GPS tether on the day of release, and was arrested by local police for larceny from a motor vehicle in April.
Democratic congressman Andy Levin of Michigan wrote on Twitter:
It was clear that deporting Jimmy to a country where he had never been, had no identification, had no family, had no knowledge of geography or customs, did not speak the language and ultimately, had no access to medical care, would put his life in extreme danger.
My Republican colleagues and I have repeatedly called on the executive branch to cease deportation of such vulnerable people. Now, someone has died.
President Donald Trump used promises of deportation as one of his core policies to secure his election success, and he’s upheld his promise of stripping protections from immigrants who came to the country legally and enforcing raids up and down the country.
Many Iraqi refugees are said to be cutting off the ankle monitors they’re legally required to wear over fears they’ll be targeted for deportation, Detroit News reports.
Following 2017, in which ICE detained more than 100 Iraqi nationals, many of whom had American children, the American Civil Liberties Union fought in federal court that many of them would face torture or even death in Iraq for being members of a Christian minority, for helping the US military of even for just applying for asylum in the US.
Many of the Iraqi nationals being targeted by ICE have experienced some kind of run in with the law and Jimmy had a criminal record and served 17 months for a home invasion. However, many people are appealing for emergency stays because, as immigration lawyer Shanta Driver told Michigan Public Radio, ‘it’s like a death sentence to be sent back there, and the US government knows it.’
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