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Chaldeans protest ICE detentions outside federal building in Detroit


  • A woman holds a sign and cross as members of the local Chaldean community demonstrate June 16 outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building to protest the arrest and detention of more than 100 Chaldean Christians from the Detroit area. (CNS photo/Jim West)
  • Members of the local Chaldean community gather outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building June 16 to protest the arrest and detention of more than 100 Chaldean Christians from the Detroit area. (CNS photo/Dan Meloy, The Michigan Catholic)

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DETROIT (CNS) -- The organizer of a June 16 protest in Detroit against federal agents' rounding up more than 100 Iraqi-American immigrants told local media that those who were detained had no prior warning that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be arresting them the morning of June 11.

Joined by U.S. Democratic Reps. Sander Levin and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, members of the Chaldean Christian community gathered in front of the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building. They held up signs, crosses and American flags, venting their frustration against federal authorities who detained their father, brothers and uncles, many of whom have been in the community for decades.

Martin Manna, president of the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, organized the demonstration.

"I represent a rich cove of the Iraqi-Chaldean community, and when I called Martin Manna, I got here quickly," Lawrence said. "Chaldeans are our friends, our neighbors.

"Why did ICE decide to target and roundup Iraqi-Americans? Where is the written policy?" Lawrence asked, referring to the "verbal agreement" U.S. President Donald Trump had with the Iraqi government regarding accepting deportees from the United States.

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