A Brewing Immigration Story Out Of Michigan

June 13, 2017

There was a recent mass round-up of dozens of illegal immigrants in Michigan that might have the Trump Administration taking a second look at its policy. The subjects facing deportation are Iraqi Christians. ICE says they’ve all been convicted of crimes, some serious. But their families say they’ve long since paid their debts for the crimes, and if they’re sent back to Iraq, where 80% of the Christian population has already fled for their lives, they’ll have no protections and it would be like sending cattle to the slaughter.

If Trump makes an exception for these Christians, then liberals will likely accuse him of favoring Christians over Muslims (they don’t seem to care much for “nuance” when it comes to tarring his immigration policies with accusations of religious prejudice). But America’s immigration and deportation laws have long allowed for the favoring of one group over another if the people would face death upon being returned to their native countries, and Iraqi Christians have been designated as victims of genocide. It’s a complicated and potentially tragic situation. If the Trump Administration doesn’t address it, then there’s already a federal lawsuit being planned to stay the deportations, so this won’t be the last you’ll hear of it

What are your thoughts? Please leave me a comment below.  I read them.

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Comments 1-40 of 40

  • Susan Ashcraft

    06/18/2017 11:34 PM

    Vice President Pence, Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Sessions need to get this situation rectified. I was horrified to learn that these people had already paid their debt to society, had lived peacefully here for years, and would be killed if sent back. I don't know whose dumb idea it was to round up these people and depart them, but it needs to be stopped NOW! It's these kind of actions that also sets up Trump for more hatred (rightfully so in this case) and is undermining what he is attempting to do to help our country. They need to take care of this yesterday!

  • Shannon Rutledge

    06/17/2017 02:30 PM

    This is the problem with the broad sweeping paint brush. My thought is if they are true Christians, it should easily be verified by asking a few questions & following up to verify the answers. The Muslims claiming we are favoring Christians over Muslims means little to me. If a true convert to Christianty is sent back to Muslim country, he will most definitely be killed, in the most horrible way. Theses converts, if proven true, deserve our protection.

  • Linda Johnson

    06/16/2017 02:31 AM

    I don't understand why we need compare Muslims with Christians in terms of religion. Muslim is not a religion - the religion is Islam. And Islam is not only a religion - it is a political entity. You can't compare Christianity, which is a religion, with Islam, which is not only a religion, but also a politic and way of life. That in itself proves that they can never be Americans, because they can never live by our free way of life. They can only seek to conquer us - to rule us - which they will do if there are enough of them. So why do we keep trying to protect them in terms of religion, knowing that religion is only a part of who they are? Does this make sense? They must dominate the world, and for this reason alone, we should never allow them the opportunity!

  • Linda R. Crane

    06/15/2017 10:46 PM

    This is a very difficult decision. Should rules apply across the board to all. Not a question, but something to ponder and pray about. Should be declare a death sentence for these people. Surely, there is a good and Godly way to handle this.

  • Danny A. Hurd

    06/15/2017 04:22 PM

    If these folks have paid for their crimes, they should be allowed to stay. Trump should do the hard right thing, and give Christians safety, if Iraq, ISIS, and the region are not willing to. Trump will not get a break during his time in office, so he should get used to the abuse, because it will not stop. Do the right thing, whether liberals like it or not.

  • Barbara l hite

    06/15/2017 11:36 AM

    Mike are you still giving President Trump advice on this issue as a Christian? He needs all the advice from You the and other Christian Leaders.

    We as Christians need to defeat the left agenda to eradicate Christians from America the world.
    Please be our voice for us and Israel.

  • Patricia King

    06/15/2017 11:30 AM

    I can see why laws need to be pages long. There are so many exceptions that must be included. Years and years ago, the 14th amendment was applied to the WRONG people because it wasn't specific enough to be applied to the kids of slaves that were born here. Now it is hard to fix that mistake. Now we have legals born here that should NEVER have been claimed as legals.

  • Bart Fernandez

    06/15/2017 07:12 AM

    YOU KNOW HOW TO STOP MEXICANS, SOUTH AMERICANS AND MUSLIMS FROM WANTING TO COME TO OUR COUNTRY? Stop the free welfare, food stamps, medical/hospital care and let it be known world wide. They know it's there is why they come. My father arrived from Spain in 1920, a nineteen year old, got nothing & had to immediately find work. worked in coal mines, highway labor, nasty jobs, but raised a family with home and all he owned paid for.

  • Nadia Shaya

    06/15/2017 12:24 AM

    Mike, the Chaldeans that were rounded up were not illegal. They all are legal immigrants. Most of them have lived in the U.S. for decades. Some have been here for 30, 40 and in my brothers case, 50 years! He also happens to be a US Vet where he will be killed if he is returned to Iraq, a country that he doesn't even remember. We need Immigration and policy reform. We should be focused on the real threat, radical extremists who have been embedded in the U.S. to bring harm to America, not the Iraqi Chaldean Christians who escaped war torn Iraq! The U.S. is the only country they have ever known, the only country they call home. Please pray for all of the families. We have been shaken to our very core. God bless you and may His face continue to shine upon you.

  • Beverly Barrette

    06/15/2017 12:23 AM

    Is there anyone who can get through to President Trump that his base, & most loyal supporters are becoming very concerned about his dropping approval ratings. He is becoming his own worst enemy in spontaneous poorly phrased unwise TWEETS with comments that the left are jumping with joy to use against him. His sometimes immediate rant is not even an appropriate response to what he thinks he is tweeting about. I am afraid he is hurting the conservative candidates running in the special elections incoming up in Georgia, South Carolina, Montana etc. Giving their opponents lots of fuel for their campaigns. How much more effective his time could be spent getting rid of Obama's bureaucratic appointees in every Agency running a shadow Govt. thwarting every move to proceed with promised agenda to make America Great again. He needs to focus on ignoring perceived slights & use the energy to really clean out the swamp dwellers Obama set up to stop him from accomplishing what We The People elected him to do.

  • Andrew Kewson

    06/14/2017 11:54 PM

    A couple clarifications...the deal Trump made was to remove Iraq from the second travel ban in order for them to accept the deportees. Information can be found on the government website regarding that particular Exec order.

  • Andrew Kewson

    06/14/2017 11:47 PM

    First, thank you Mike for raising awareness to this situation. There are a number of variables in play here that people should be aware of. First, many of these Chaldean Christians came here legally as part of the UN refugee program over the last 30 years and were given green cards (permanent residents). Many arrived in the US before they ever hit their 12th birthday and did not have identification papers due to the issues in Iraq at the time. Some do not even speak Arabic. As they got older, they did commit crimes, but most in their 20s. But the crimes are all over the board. Some got caught for marijuana possession and one individual was literally protecting his girlfriend from being sexually harassed in a bar, but because he threw the first punch, received an assault charge. Some do have more extreme crimes, but in all cases, they served the time given by the courts. The issue, is that Green card holders in the US with a felony on their record are subject to review and potential deportation if the judge so decides. However these particular judgements were made decades ago, but ICE could not deport them because Iraq refused to accept deportees. So these individuals remained in the country and in many cases raised families and are now honest tax paying residents. The reason why this is happening now is because President Donald Trump made a deal with the new Iraqi government to accept detainees that were on ICE's list. So all of these deportees files from the last 30 years are now coming to fruition. This is a common practice with ICE amongst all cultures. But due to the situation currently in Iraq with ISIS and the fact that the US government declared genocide in the country only last week, it has instilled dramatic fear into the families of these individuals as well as the community which is very close. People need to understand that is also not just ISIS they fear. it is a common practice in Iraq at the moment for Christians to be kidnapped and held ransom until their families in the US pay a large amount of money for their release which they cannot guarantee. Many are trying to stop the deportation through the UN Convention of Torture Act which states in cases where there is almost guaranteed persecution, exceptions should be given. We can only pray that the real America rises up and realizes that we are simply sending them to their deaths which is about as un-American as we can possibly be. God be with their families who are going through this hard time and allow forgiveness in our own hearts to persevere.

  • Valerie Sharrak

    06/14/2017 11:37 PM

    I am a Christian myself and I believe this is totally outrageous. Please lets all come as one and save our people our christians from being slaughtered if they go back to iraq. They speak our language now which is ENGLISH they're Americanized just like us! They have been here for years they consider this their country now. They have paid their debt to the society. Bring them back!! No one deserves to be deported back to a country that's not even in humane society anymore. None of this is fair trump promised to protect our christians not have them be sent to isis! There must be an alternative. They all have done time and kept track of their immigration attending every 6 months. None of them are criminals! They never got introuble afterwards. All of us US citizens have made mistakes before no ones perfect plus all of them are adolescents. "Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!" Trump tweeted in January.

  • Anna Angeline Angel Bakos

    06/14/2017 09:23 PM

    I am curious about how many of the individuals became American citizens. If the criminal deeds they performed were a 'long time ago,' it seems to me they all should have become citizens.
    I for one am against people coming to America & not moving toward becoming a citizen.

  • Anna Angeline Angel Bakos

    06/14/2017 09:22 PM

    I am curious about how many of the individuals became American citizens. If the criminal deeds they performed were a 'long time ago,' it seems to me they all should have become citizens.
    I for one am against people coming to America & not moving toward becoming a citizen.

  • Glen R. Haas, Jr.

    06/14/2017 08:34 PM

    Facing death if they are sent back can definitely provide an exception. However, if they have violated our laws, they are criminals and should be given the option of being deported or spending time in prison.

  • James Mayhew

    06/14/2017 07:46 PM

    So these people are criminals? That being the case, and if they are not here legally, they need to be deported. Our problem in the past 40 years is every year we get more and more isolated from the reality of the law. We make laws to be adhered to by the honest hard working Americans. Those who violate those laws are subject to the consequences. Knowing you are breaking the law and the possibility is that you might get sent back to a country that would take your life if you return is not the problem of the administration.

  • Kim Colwell

    06/14/2017 06:14 PM

    I think that they should be afforded protection by staying in the U.S., as long as they can be vetted. Their country of origin is not the problem. Going home to face the persecution of fundamental Islam & genocide is. It shouldn't be all too hard to vet Christians that are living out their faith by attending church, etc. in America. Why not use the churches they attend for verification? If they can't be vetted, sorry to say, I think they need to be deported back where they came from. In our American tradition, if we fail to provide liberty to these people then we have lost our identity as Americans & we will incur God's judgement, in my opinion.

  • Donna King

    06/14/2017 05:47 PM

    This is a tough one. I am praying for a good solution for all. The fact that Trump is reconsidering this shows his compassion for innocent family members. I amire that.

  • Debre Kramer

    06/14/2017 05:10 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, it seems most people of faith-CHRISTIANS- especially Pastors have rap sheets in non Christian countries for acts unbecoming...., blasphemy, crimes against the government....., spying, etc. May i say trumped up charges? Hope someone reminds President Trump of this fact.

    By the way how does an American go about having displaced Christians come live with them?
    in Him alone, Debre

  • Warren Pugh

    06/14/2017 05:06 PM

    Let them go to canada or some other country that will have them.

  • Lisa Attisha

    06/14/2017 05:00 PM

    Wow. Some of the comments posted here are heartbreaking. Thank you for this article I truly thank you, we need more people like you to get the word out. For those asking if we "really are christians" I beg you to come to mass at our church we attend weekly. I invite you into our homes to see our walls covered with mother Mary plaques, rosarys and Jesus status. I feel so very sorry for many of you that you're so uneducated on other ethicities other than yourselves. Just because our country of origin is Iraq you automatically judge us. If ANY person agrees with this decision you support murder and the death penalty. You support isis because initially that is who will kill them. I don't care what religion you practice it is inhumane. No one is arguing these men's deportation it's the simple fact they are being sent to a country where they will be put to death. These innocent men will be murdered immediately in iraq. Many have argued well what about other races being deported! Guess what? Those people are being sent to countries where they are able to start a new life! Not to be beheaded!!! Our people, the chaldeans, fled their homeland due to religious persecution for being Christian's decades ago. Iraq is not their country anymore. Iraq belongs to isis now. The men yes have committed crimes however many served time in jail for their crimes, others simply have petty issues such as overdue parking tickets. I beg you to not be naive and really do your research. They are tax payers and many have committed their crimes over 30 years ago As adolescents. They have paid their dues. Ask yourself...no really ask yourself..you commit a crime, serve 10 years in jail start a new life start a family. And out of the blue you are snatched while in church, while receiving chemo (yes one man was taken with an IV while receiving medical treatment), from your homes and initially being sent to your death. But why? You served your time. You checked in every 6 months with immigration. You did everything asked if you. For a death sentence. Shame on all applauding it without knowing the truth. How un-American of you. These men deserve LIFE. Deport them no problem but do not send them to a country to be murdered. please pray for our people. This is murder. ?? God be with these families. God please here our prayers!

  • Jim evart

    06/14/2017 02:20 PM

    As mentioned earlier, you can tell a man by his enemies. Our PRESIDENT has dearly earned his presidency through the suffering and bogus turmoil inflicted upon him.
    Instead of using his last name as a shortcut, don't you think it's about time that we all referred to him as " the President " with some degree of respect and honor? He has certainly earned it.

  • Deanna K

    06/14/2017 02:03 PM

    I am a member of the Chaldean (Iraqi Christian) community in Michigan. As an immigrant of this country who came here legally, I can tell you that most of these people have become upstanding citizens of our community and also came here legally. Some of them have made mistakes during their adolescent years. They have paid their dues for committing any crimes in which they are now being repunished for. These people have grown older, become business owners, hard workers, have gotten married, had children (many of their children are still very young.) And YES THEY PAY TAXES. Our community has strong ties with our churches.
    As Christians sending them back to their native land will be sending them to CERTAIN DEATH! Currently, there is and active genocide targeting Chaldeans in Iraq. Isis will NOT SPARE any of them. Please help bring awareness to this. It has brought our community to our knees!

  • PHILLIP A HOCOTT

    06/14/2017 02:03 PM

    In 2015 my wife and I met Nikki Haley at Clemson where she was enrolling her daughter as a freshman, and we were helping our Grand daughter start her Junior year. She responded to our feeble attempts to praise her for her Gubernatorial Service to SC(she and hubby were Clemson grads) with such charm and grace we knew she was destined for something great. What vision Trump and staff had to select her for UN Ambassador! It is so sad that she takes this office amid the vultures and snakes ...the career diplomats who could care less about human dignity and religious tolerance. World politics do not allow for these Diplomats to care for any other country's religious orientation......and there is "No God" when it comes to resolving anything in the UN, other than selfish quid pro quo!!! I hope Trump kicks some butt
    in the UN...a good start is to miss a few payments....and support Haley against our enemies. The next resolution is to give a country so many votes, based upon their share, paid to the UN to keep it afloat! And, of course, move it to some God-forsaken place somewhere else in the world!! PS: Look up "UN Religious tolerance on Wikipedia". What a joke!!!
    Thanks and God Bless

  • Connie Belus

    06/14/2017 01:47 PM

    First, I think very highly of you, Mike, & I am a Christian. Christians should not be committing crimes. If they are true Christians God will forgive them. But on earth they are subject to our laws. Opening up exceptions for Christians will only lead to cries of discrimination, & if Muslims are allowed exceptions, we know how acceptable it is for them to lie.

  • Deborah Lawson Parker

    06/14/2017 12:49 PM

    Sounds like the "round up" of these people was intentional. Are they really Christians or just saying that? I haven't read the full story yet.. But sounds like a liberal setup to me either way. I wish President Trump could just do the "executive order" as Obama did at will. Why did we let Obama get away with so many things .

  • Eileen Larson

    06/14/2017 12:18 PM

    We need to pray for these Christians. Would signing a petition help keep them here? It is the Christians in Muslim countries who should be allowed into the United States as refugees, not their persecutors. I am under the impression that these Christians came here legally and stayed legally.

  • Jane Wohletz

    06/14/2017 11:24 AM

    Thanks for your clarification of so much of the "news" Your level-headed thinking is most refreshing.

  • Jeanette Brightwell

    06/14/2017 10:14 AM

    I remember President Carter sending Iraqi students and others back to Iraq. There was no backlash to his decision. One of the students was shot getting off of the plane in Iraq, who had been attending my college at the time.

  • Gladys Hizer

    06/14/2017 10:07 AM

    Thank you for your info on Michigan, my home state. Trump already has a reputation for helping Christians over Muslims so why would this be more of a problem?!! Are they U.S. citizens? Then they can't be sent back.

  • Debra Brown

    06/14/2017 09:17 AM

    If the information is true that they have paid for their crimes then I am totally in favor of keeping the Iraqi Christians here to protect them from genocide!
    I am not in favor of a dictatorship in America but if we allowed Obama to do all the radical things he did like allowing same sex marriage then I would say let Trump be a little radical and do the right thing. I get a little tired of democrates, leftists or whatever you call them dictating what a representative can or cannot do that is approved only in their progressive and new world order mindset! They should all be kept to the same standards. I will never understand how our leaders allowed Lois Lerner to do what she did and still get her nice comfey retirement and Hillary Clinton to get away with handling goverment documents the way she did, (plus many other of her crimes which could fill a book)!

  • Cynthia L Davis

    06/14/2017 09:05 AM

    I totally agree with you this is all a show to try and cause someone to slip up and answer one of their stupid questions with enough doubt to use it against our president. I can truly say that I am ashamed of what our country has turned into since the election. Things were already in a mess from Obama and where were these snakes in the grass when he was doing all his unethical things for the past 8 years, cozying up to more special interest groups to line their pockets that's where all the while republicans were just standing around with their hands in their pockets.
    It's time for the republicans to stand together and for the President to put down his twitter account and tell the American people they are not going to continue down this slippery slope and start working for us. The President has a good heart where it comes to America but he has to understand that he isn't in business for himself any longer he works for us and that all this fighting with the press and the dems is hurting him and our country. Get rid of anyone who had any ties to Obama, Clintons or anyone else who is not standing for a united America. We don't need those kinds of people working for us.
    Please urge our President to quit playing into these underhanded games of the dems, and the press. STOP TWEETING Mr. President.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Drexel Spencer Fuller

    06/14/2017 09:03 AM

    JOE McCarthy wasn't wrong!

  • Pastor David Nichols

    06/14/2017 08:59 AM

    If they committed crimes (beyond that of their faith) they should be treated as anyone else. Having said that, I believe anyone being deported should have their circumstances considered and given options to become legal if possible. As a Christian I know that God's mercy endureth forever! (Psalms 136 KJV) Thank you Mike Huckabee for making it possible to share!

  • Natalie Heflin

    06/14/2017 05:07 AM

    God is in control.

  • Sam

    06/13/2017 10:15 PM

    Please help our community this people are being sent for a death sentence please help national media air this story.

  • Linda Dempsey

    06/13/2017 05:54 PM

    If they have paid for their crimes and have become productive members of their community, then sending them back would be murder. They need to work on becoming American citizens, if they aren't already. If they continue to break the law, then they need to be punished up to and including being sent back to their home country.

  • Miriam Willits

    06/13/2017 04:09 PM

    Look, I'm a Christian too. If they can prove that their crimes have been paid for, then perhaps they can stay. But not if they've committed crimes again here. Then, they should get an ankle bracelet and be on a work release program to pay restitution and be on probation.

  • Carol Breeden

    06/13/2017 03:41 PM

    I am glad I am not the POTUS! Personally, I could not deport Christians. I believe we have a wise POTUS and he will make the best decision he can. Will it satisfy the liberals? No. This is one of those times when he had better be "walking in the spirit" and not in the flesh.