- Jimmy Aldaoud, a 41-year-old Detroit man, was found dead Tuesday in Iraq after being deported as part of the Trump administration’s escalated immigration-enforcement efforts, according to Politico.
- Aldaoud was an Iraqi national and Chaldean Catholic, but he was born in Greece and came to the US when he was a child, Politico said, citing a family friend.
- “Rest In Peace Jimmy,” Edward Bajoka, an immigration attorney, wrote in a Facebook post. “Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration.”
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A 41-year-old Detroit man was found dead Tuesday in Iraq after being deported as part of the Trump administration’s escalated immigration-enforcement efforts, according to Politico.
Jimmy Aldaoud was an Iraqi national and Chaldean Catholic, but he was born in Greece and came to the US when he was young, Politico reported, citing a family friend.
Edward Bajoka, an immigration attorney who was close to Aldaoud’s family, said in a Facebook post that Aldaoud had diabetes and most likely died because he could not get needed insulin. Bajoka said Aldaoud had never been to Iraq and didn’t speak Arabic.
“Rest In Peace Jimmy,” Bajoka wrote. “Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration.”
Bajoka also wrote that Aldaoud had paranoid schizophrenia and that “mental health was the primary reason for his legal issues that led to his deportation.”
In a video shared on Facebook this week, Aldaoud said he had been throwing up and sleeping on the streets. He also said that he’d been in the US since he was 6 months old and that he “begged” immigration officials to not deport him.
“Immigration agents pulled me over and said I’m going to Iraq,” he said in the undated video, adding: “I said: ‘I’ve never been there. I’ve been in this country my whole life, since pretty much birth.'”
Representatives from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the White House did not immediately respond to emails from INSIDER.
According to Politico, the Trump administration targeted more than 1,000 Iraqis with final orders of removal, including Chaldean Catholics, whose branch of Catholicism has its roots in what is now Iraq but who the American Civil Liberties Union has said now face the threat of violence there from the terrorist group ISIS.
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety in the community,” Martin Manna of the Chaldean Community Foundation told Politico. “Iraq’s not a safe place for many of the people who are being sent back.”
Miriam Aukerman, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told Politico that deportation could mean certain death for some immigrants.
“Jimmy’s death has devastated his family and us,” she said in a statement. “We knew he would not survive if deported. What we don’t know is how many more people ICE will send to their deaths.”
Democratic Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan issued a statement, cited by Politico, in which he said Aldaoud “should have never been sent to Iraq.” He added: “My Republican colleagues and I have repeatedly called on the executive branch to cease deportation of such vulnerable people. Now, someone has died.”
Levin and his fellow Rep. John Moolenaar, a Republican, introduced legislation earlier this year “that will grant two years of relief from detention and deportation for Iraqi nationals with orders of removal,” according to a May 3 press release.
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