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Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction, Stops Deportation of Iraqis

DETROIT (WWJ) -- A federal judge in Detroit has issued a 35-page opinion that puts a preliminary injunction in place and stops the deportation of the Iraqi nationals.

Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments last Friday on the case that started when federal agents arrested the Iraqi nationals last month.

"The Government opposes the motion, principally on the grounds that this Court has no jurisdiction to provide any relief — even temporary relief — and that Petitioners' only recourse is to seek a stay of removal before the immigration courts," Goldsmith wrote. "As this Court explained in its earlier opinion on jurisdiction, and as it will explain again below, the Government's view is inconsistent with the Constitution's command that the writ of habeas corpus — the fundamental guarantor of liberty — must not be suspended, except in the rare case of foreign invasion or domestic rebellion."

The injunction gives those associated 90 days to get legal help. The ruling also lays out requirements that must be met otherwise they will be subject to deportation despite the injunction.

Attorneys for the detainees who were arrested last month say their clients will be tortured or killed if they are sent back to Iraq. A stay was set to expire Monday at midnight.

Attorney Nadine Yousif Kalasho -- who is co-counsel in the case on behalf of those detained -- calls the ruling a "step in the right direction."

"A few weeks ago we didn't know whether people were going to be sent back to Iraq the day after they were picked up and we were very unclear on what would happen to them and now we've bought them some time," Yousif Kalasho told WWJ during a live broadcast shortly after the ruling. "I'm very happy about that. This is a good step in the right direction.

"Ultimately what we want is more time for our people to be heard and have access to their due process that the Constitution requires so I'm very happy about it and I hope that we can get a more positive ruling later on."

Another conference to consider the status of the case is scheduled for the end of August.

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