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ACLU says ICE coerced detainees to sign deportation papers

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The ACLU was in a Detroit courtroom Monday seeking an order to protect a group of Iraqi detainees from threats and coercion from immigration agents.

Federal judge Mark Goldsmith ordered lawyers for the government and the ACLU to bargain behind closed doors on a potential deal. That’s after they agreed immigration officers should not be allowed to threaten detained Iraqis with prosecution for refusing to sign the statement. The statement says the immigrants want to voluntarily return to Iraq. That’s despite the threat to Christian Iraqis of persecution if they return. ACLU attorneys also want the chance to consult with their clients before they sign the statement, and the chance to ask 33 Iraqis who’ve already signed if they were threatened or coerced.

The Iraqis face deportation for criminal convictions, many of them years in the past.