The crackdowns on illegal immigrants in the United States have taken a toll on the Christian community from Iraq. While the US is rounding up many of the illegals for deportation, a call is going out to stop the deportations of this particular group as they face as their advocates call a “death sentence” if they are returned to Iraq.
The Chaldean community in Detroit has been hard hit by the roundup. Detroit has been a hub for Iraqis immigrating to the United States and the Christian community is very big there.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) arrested more than 200 Iraqi nationals over the weekend who have been the subject of deportation orders following criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
One hundred and fourteen people were detained in Detroit alone, most of whom are members of Iraq’s Chaldean minority – which, like other Christian groups, has been targeted for persecution by Islamic State and other jihadist groups.
Najah Konja, 55, who was arrested in Detroit on Sunday morning, immigrated to the US with his family in 1977. No other relatives remain in Iraq, according to his brother, Shoki “Steve” Konja.
“What is he going to do there?” Steve Konja, a US citizen, told the Guardian. “Basically, they are sentencing him to death.”