U.S. President Donald Trump promised to grant Iraqi Christians and extension to stay in the United States.
He promised to approve the extension to the Chaldean Catholic Immigrants during his speech in Warren, Michigan, last Thursday.
Hundreds of Iraqi Christian immigrants have lived in the Detroit area, mostly in the United States for more than a decade. But over the past few years, they have lived in fear of deportation, with the government focusing on enforcing outstanding deportation orders.
The U.S. administration sought to expel 1,400 Iraqis in 2017 in negotiations with the Iraqi government. In addition, the U.S. government planned to expel hundreds of Iraqi Christians to the Islamic State where the recent genocide is taking place. This has raised concerns among the Evangelical Immigration Table and evangelical leaders.
According to Reuters, five Republican lawmakers from Michigan discussed the expulsion of Iraqi Christians with Michigan Republican lawmakers at the Trump event in Warren.
Mollenaar, a Michigan Republican, and Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat, submitted a bill last year to stop the withdrawal of Iraq from the U.S. House of Representatives.
The bill was introduced in August 2019, months before the death of the mentally disabled 41-year-old Aldwood. Jimmy Aldwood lived in the United States since he was six months old and was deported last year. Aldwood, who lived in the Detroit area before being deported, reportedly died in Iraq without receiving treatment for diabetes.
"[T]he congressmen were telling me on the plane how rough it's been for [the Iraqi Christians]," Trump said. "It's been a very tough time for a lot of Christians all over the world. And so we're going to be extending them. And a lot of people in Michigan have been asking for that. So we'll work with that when we get back with your great congressmen."