The 6th Circuit rules Detroit judge didn’t have authority to stop mass deportation of Iraqi nationals
The U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed and vacated U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith’s original decision to grant a stay of removal. This news comes just days after several members of the Hamama v. Adducci class action lawsuit were finally being released after being detained for more than a year and a half.
The panel of judges, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that Judge Goldsmith did not have the authority to stop the deportation of hundreds of Iraqi nationals or to grant them bond hearings in which hundreds of detainees were released.
This decision came from the 6th Circuit Court on Thursday, December 20. Thursday was also the deadline set by Judge Goldsmith in which the majority of detainees were to have been released. This deadline was set on November 20 after he granted two motions brought to him by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ruling from the 6th Circuit Court did not address Judge Goldsmith’s latest order. According to Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, this ruling will not have an immediate effect on the detainees that have been released thus far.
For many, this is a breath of relief, as many detainees have been home for less than a week and the fear of being re-detained is at a high.
“They did not make a decision regarding the order issued in November about the releases,” explained Aukerman in a live Facebook video via the ACLU of Michigan’s page. “The good news is that we actually have some time. I know that’s what a lot of people are concerned about what happens now. When there’s an appellate decision like this, normally, and in this case, it does not immediately go into effect because we need time to think about what we want to do.”
In the video, Aukerman reassures viewers that she and the Hamama litigation team as a whole, are “in it for the long haul” and are focused on protecting the community.
“Even though the news today is not good, it’s important to understand that in lawsuits, that happens,” Aukerman said. “Sometimes you get good rulings, sometimes you get bad rulings. There’s a lot of stages and if you’ve been in detention…you know that lawsuits take a long time. Lots of things happen. Things that you expect, things that you don’t expect. There are a lot of different options going forward.”