Attorneys urge appeals court to block Iraqi deportations

CINCINNATI (AP) — A civil-rights attorney contends the Trump administration tried to rush deportations of Iraqis who faced torture, sexual slavery and beheadings in their home country.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati heard arguments today on the government's request to lift a judge's order blocking the deportations.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt told the three-judge panel that the Detroit federal judge would have been signing death warrants for many of the 1,400 Iraqis, who include Christians and other minority groups.

Federal attorneys say the judge overstepped his authority and that the Iraqis could have appealed in immigration courts. ACLU attorneys countered that there wasn't time because immigration agents were suddenly rounding up people last year.

The panel didn't indicate when it will rule.

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