Franklin Graham calls possible Iraqi Christian deportations disturbing
By Kevin Payne
Franklin Graham on Friday, issued a plea to the White House to investigate Immigration agents that are detaining Iraqi Christians who are in the country illegally.
Graham said in a statement that he finds it disturbing that immigration authorities have arrested many Iraqi Christian’s for possible deportation. Earlier this year, President Trump said that he would prioritize persecuted Christians, but many international religious freedom advocates say that deporting these Christians back to Iraq would put them in serious danger.
“I understand a policy of deporting people who are here illegally and have broken the law,” Graham said. “I don’t know all of the details, but I would encourage our president to give great consideration to the threat to lives of Christians in countries like Iraq.”
In a recent Facebook post, Graham, the head of Samaritans Purse and son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham, criticized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for rounding up 100 Iraqi nationals in Michigan last week.
Immigration authorities said that all of the Iraqi nationals who were arrested had criminal convictions, but Mark Arabo, president of The Minority Humanitarian Foundation, stated that many of those who were arrested have lived in America for decades and have been exonerated of previous crimes.
“These aren’t criminals,” Arabo said. “They’re good, upstanding citizens who have since been rehabilitated. The government should do what they want to do with them here in America, give them due process. But, sending them back to Iraq is a death sentence.”
“Many immigrants fear for their safety if they are sent back to Iraq,” wrote, Jeremy Courtney in the Washington Post. “Many Christians were killed under Saddam Hussein’s regime and continues to be targeted after the U.S. invasion in 2003, as well as in the years since the Islamic State has come on the scene.”
Meanwhile, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to halt possible deportations.
Photo: Friends and family view a bus outside the U.S. Detention and Deportation Center in Detroit, Sunday, June 11, 2017. A mass immigration and deportation sweep and arrest of dozens of Chaldeans in southeastern Michigan by U.S. immigration officials prompted the protest outside the detention center. Family members of the Catholics with Iraqi roots who were arrested indicate most had criminal records and were awaiting deportation. (Gus Burns/Mlive.com via AP)