A Michigan judge on Tuesday ordered the release of nearly 100 Iraqi detainees and slammed the Trump administration for “shatter[ing]” families by intentionally drawing out the court proceedings, according to a Wednesday report from NBC News.
Some of the detainees have been in custody since a sweep of ICE arrests in the state in June 2017. The ACLU sued at the time but, according to the judge, the government repeatedly moved to keep the detainees in custody by prolonging the court proceedings. “From the earliest stages of this case,” he wrote, “the Government made demonstrably false statements to the Court designed to delay the proceedings.”
The judge ordered in his opinion that any detainee who has been imprisoned for more than six months must be set free within the next month, unless the government makes a case for continuing to detain them. He also threatened to sanction the government for obstructing progress in the case: “[T]he Government has acted ignobly in this case, by failing to comply with court orders, submitting demonstrably false declarations of Government officials, and otherwise violating its litigation obligations,” he wrote, “all of which impels this Court to impose sanctions.”