Americas

US Prepares to Deport Hundreds of Iraqi Christians

American veteran faces forced return to dangerous homeland that two-thirds of his fellow believers have fled.
US Prepares to Deport Hundreds of Iraqi Christians
Image: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Immigration attorneys in Michigan, like Chaldean Eman H. Jajonie-Daman, meet with Christian clients seeking to avoid deportation to Iraq.

Nahidh Shaou could be deported any day now.

As a Christian and a veteran of the US military, being forcibly returned to Iraq—a homeland he hasn’t seen since he was five years old—could prove to be a death sentence.

Until April of this year, Iraq had not accepted deportees from the United States since 2010. That policy changed when one of President Donald Trump’s early executive orders included Iraq on a list of seven countries targeted with a temporary travel ban. As part of the deal to be removed from the list, Iraq agreed to begin taking deportees again.

More than 1,400 Iraqis in America are on the docket to be returned to their country of origin.

Escorted by law enforcement officers, the first of those Iraqis boarded a small plane in Louisiana in April, bound for Baghdad.

Shaou was supposed to be on that plane. But at the 11th hour, he was granted an emergency stay after his lawyer, Richard Kent, filed an appeal to defer Shaou’s removal.

With dozens of Iraqi ...

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