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Thread: Deported Man (Jimmy Aldaoud, 41) Who Died In Iraq: 'I've Never Seen That Country'

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    Deported Man (Jimmy Aldaoud, 41) Who Died In Iraq: 'I've Never Seen That Country'

    DETROIT, MI ? A Detroit man who was deported by the Trump administration has died after being deported to a country he'd never been to, according to reports.

    Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, was of Arabic descent, but spent almost his entire life in the U.S., according to those close to him. He was born in Greece to Chaldean-Iraqi Christian parents and was brought to the United States at just six months old, reports say.

    He was deported earlier this year to Iraq. He died this week after arriving and sources close to him say it was because he didn't have access to his insulin in Iraq.

    He also struggled with mental illness, which led to his legal woes, according to immigration attorney Edward Bajoka, who said he was close to Aldaoud's family. Bajoka wrote on Facebook that Aldaoud was found dead Aug. 7 in Iraq because he was unable to treat his diabetes.

    "Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration." Bajoka said.

    The attorney said Aldaoud did not speak Arabic, knew no one in Iraq and had never been to the country before being deported there.

    In a video posted by Bojoka, Aldaoud said he had been deported despite telling ICE agents he had never been to Iraq.

    "They just wouldn't listen to me," Aldaoud said in the video, which he stated was filmed two and a half weeks after he was deported. "They wouldn't let me call my family. I begged them, I said, 'Please, I've never seen that country.'"

    He said he was struggling in Iraq, where he had no access to food or insulin and could not communicate. "I don't understand the language, nobody speaks English," Aldaoud said. "I"ve been throwing up ... I've got nothing over here."

    ICE officials in Detroit issued a statement saying Aldaoud had 20 criminal convictions between 1998 and 2017, including several violent charges, and that he cut off a GPS device he was supposed to wear while on release from immigration custody, the Washington Post reported.

    Bajoka said Aldaoud had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, adding that his illness was tied to his legal trouble.

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Jimmy Al-Daoud’s diabetes didn't kill him — being deported to Iraq by Trump's ICE did

    On Aug. 7, I made one of the hardest phone calls I’ve made as a member of Congress.

    That morning, I had learned of the death of Jimmy Al-Daoud, a man from Oakland County, Michigan, who, because of a series of convictions, was ordered by an immigration judge to be taken from the only home he had ever known and deported to Iraq with only the clothes on his back. He was deported in June.

    Jimmy was brought to America from Greece legally as a 6-month-old baby by his Iraqi refugee parents. He lived with diabetes and schizophrenia, had never known Iraq, carried no permanent Iraqi ID, spoke no Arabic and had no family in Iraq. He also had very little insulin and no means of procuring any. On Aug. 6, Jimmy Al-Daoud died alone, of a diabetic crisis. He was 41.

    I called Jimmy’s sister to offer my condolences last week. I had met with her earlier while working to find a way to bring Jimmy back home. This time, we talked about how to ensure his body is repatriated to the United States so that Jimmy, a Chaldean Catholic, can have a proper religious funeral and be buried alongside his mother in Michigan.

    Jimmy’s story is all the more heartbreaking because it was predictable, it was preventable, and it will almost certainly be repeated if we do not pause the deportation of Iraqi nationals immediately.

    A decision handed down in December by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin the detention and deportation of Iraqi nationals like Jimmy — people who, in some cases, came to America as children and know no other home. Their Americanization alone puts them at risk. But many are also Chaldean Christians, who face grave danger in Iraq on account of religious persecution.

    All of these factors make the Trump administration’s deportation of Iraqi nationals incredibly dangerous. The State Department warns any American against traveling to Iraq in the strongest terms. In the case of someone like Jimmy, who lived with illnesses like schizophrenia and diabetes, it was a death sentence. This administration deported him anyway.

    In May, I introduced the Deferred Removal for Iraqi Nationals Including Minorities Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide two years of relief from deportation for Iraqi nationals with orders of deportation. This would allow time for each Iraqi to have their case heard individually in immigration court based on current conditions in Iraq. Many were ordered to be removed decades ago when Iraq was a completely different country. That’s why this bill is important. If it is signed into law, it will avert more preventable deaths.
    Trump can stop the deportations

    I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bill to the president’s desk. But let’s be clear: Legislation isn’t the only way to stop this, and it is not even the fastest. The government of Iraq, for one, could refuse to receive deportees until it can provide the basic documentation people need to survive in Iraq, and I hope they will consider doing this to keep people safe. That being said, Iraq is not forcing people — like Jimmy — into harm’s way.

    That’s on the president, who could end these deportations with the stroke of a pen, without any action from Congress.

    Why hasn’t he?

    With Republican and Democratic colleagues in the House, I have sent letters to Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — both of whom have voiced strong concerns regarding the persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians — as well as the heads of the Department of Homeland Security and ICE requesting assistance to keep Iraqi nationals out of harm’s way. I have made numerous appeals asking the administration to intervene and halt deportations.

    All to no avail so far.

    Over the past few days, Jimmy’s story has received widespread national and international attention. Millions of people have watched the video where Jimmy explains that he has been vomiting because he does not have insulin nor any food to eat, and in which he notes that he “begged” U.S. officials not to send him to Iraq and says, “However, they forced me.”

    There is no way to spin this: Jimmy’s death was the direct result of his deportation. More deportations will cause more deaths. And if the Trump administration continues to deport people like Jimmy to countries where they’ve never been or face imminent danger, they do so knowingly and willingly.

    Jimmy’s story, and the ones to follow if these deportations continue, should outrage anyone who cares about the persecution of Christians abroad, access to health care or protection of basic human rights. In Jimmy’s name, I renew my call to the Trump administration to halt the deportation of Iraqi nationals, show some humanity, and give them a fair chance in immigration court. Lives depend on it.

    Rep. Andy Levin is a Democratic congressman from Michigan. Follow him on Twitter @RepAndyLevin.

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    After spending nearly his entire life in the US Jimmy Aldaoud was deported to Iraq, where he died of natural causes two months later. Now his body has been allowed to return home.

    Aldaoud's remains were flown to Detroit on Friday for burial, according to a statement from Michigan Congressman Andy Levin. The 41-year-old Iraqi national died of complications from diabetes in early August after being deported to Iraq in June.

    The congressman's office coordinated with Aldaoud's family, US and Iraqi officials and funeral homes in both countries to arrange the transport of Aldaoud's remains back to Michigan. The Chaldean Community Foundation, an advocacy organization for Iraqi Christians living in the US, paid for the trip, Levin's office said.

    "Jimmy's death was an avoidable, unnecessary and predictable tragedy," Levin said. "My only hope is that Jimmy's family feels some sense of relief now that his body can be buried in his home country, next to his mother."
    His body was found in August in a Baghdad apartment he shared with another Iraqi-American deportee. His attorney Edward Bajoka said Aldaoud couldn't find insulin in the country, which caused his death.

    ICE officials said when he was deported, he'd been "supplied with a full complement of medicine to ensure continuity of care."

    Aldaoud is expected to be laid to rest at a private funeral later this week, the congressman's office said.

    "Jimmy was a sweet person with a good heart," Aldaoud's sisters said in the release. "He loved our mom, and we are comforted knowing that he will be laid to rest next to her."
    "We hope Jimmy's story opens people's eyes and hearts to understanding that we should not be deporting people to their death overseas."

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