DHS is Enforcing the Law, Not Sending Christians Back to Iraq for Persecution

News stories on the arrests of Iraqi nationals are wrong; and sadly, some Christian news outlets are buying into it. Here is the truth:

As the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, I am posting the official statement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding recent arrests of Iraqi nationals.

As a result of recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq, Iraq has recently agreed to accept a number of Iraqi nationals subject to orders of removal.

As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to process the backlog of these individuals, since May 2017, the agency has arrested 199 Iraqi nationals nationwide, the overwhelming majority of whom had criminal convictions for crimes including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations and other offenses. Two individuals did not have criminal convictions but have pending criminal charges for drug trafficking, receiving stolen property and multiple arrests for domestic violence. One individual is a non-criminal with a final order of removal.

As part of ICE’s recent enforcement effort, officers arrested 114 Iraqi nationals in Detroit over the weekend, and 85 throughout the rest of the country over the past several weeks. As of April 17, 2017, there were 1,444 Iraqi nationals with final orders for removal.

Since the March 12, 2017 agreement with the Government of Iraq regarding removals, eight Iraqi nationals have been removed to Iraq. ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. However, as Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.

These arrests are consistent with the routine, targeted enforcement action carried out by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations on a daily basis. All enforcement activities are conducted with the same level of professionalism and respect that ICE officers exhibit every day.

Detroit-Specific Statement

The operation in this region was specifically conducted to address the very real public safety threat represented by the criminal aliens arrested. The vast majority of those arrested in the Detroit metropolitan area have very serious felony convictions, multiple felony convictions in many cases.