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Chaldean Catholic Dies in Iraq After U.S. Deportation

DETROIT, Mich. — Christian leaders and local legislators have mourned the death of a Chaldean Christian who had been deported to Iraq by the United States.

Jimmy Al-Daoud, a 41 year-old Chaldean Catholic who lived in the Detroit suburbs, was apprehended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2017 and eventually deported to Iraq in June of this year. Born in Greece, Al-Daoud was an Iraqi national but had never previously been to the country.

According to an announcement by his lawyer, Al-Daoud died on August 6.

“Christians of Iraqi descent who have been living in the U.S. for decades have nowhere to return to in Iraq,” Toufic Baaklini, president of the advocacy group In Defense of Christians, stated on Friday.

“While the United States acted within its rights in deporting an unlawful resident, in doing so, they sent an Iraqi Christian back to a country whose own indigenous Christians cannot find a place to live in safety.”

As reported by POLITICO Thursday, Al-Daoud’s lawyer posted on Facebook that Jimmy, a diabetic, likely died from lack of access to insulin. He was born in Greece and had never been to Iraq.

Although he “entered the United States lawfully in 1979,” ICE officials in Detroit said in a statement that Al-Daoud violated the terms of his lawful status with several criminal convictions and received a final order of removal in 2005 after an “exhaustive judicial review.”

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