Lawyers who sued to suspend the deportation of 1,400 people to Iraq say some in U.S. custody are being urged to give up the fight or face more than a year in detention.
Miriam Aukerman of the American Civil Liberties Union says immigration agents are coercing people to surrender their rights and agree to be deported to Iraq. Roughly 21 percent, or 288, of the 1,400 are in custody.
Aukerman made the disclosure Thursday in Detroit federal court. Government attorney William Silvis says he feels "sandbagged" by the allegations and wants more details.
In July, Judge Mark Goldsmith blocked the deportation of Iraqi nationals to give them more time to challenge their removal. Many are Christians who fear their lives will be at risk in Iraq. The U.S. says they've committed crimes.