Family members and attorneys for Iraqi Christians facing deportation say the possibility of pardons is giving them a new sense of hope.
Governor Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Parole Board to look into nearly 70 cases of Iraqis who’ve asked for pardons. They face deportation because of criminal convictions, many dating back years. The parole board has put nine of those requests on an expedited schedule.
Attorney Brad Maze represents many Iraqis who were detained by federal immigration authorities. Maze says a pardon gives detainees more legal options, and the chance to get their green cards returned.
“It’s really a huge difference in the ability of these people to remain here and continue to be members of our community.”
A federal judge has put a temporary hold on the deportations.
Iraqi Christians say they face the threat of persecution, torture, and death if they are returned.