Chaldean Christians: President Trump Has 'Utterly Betrayed' Us
Over the weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested more than 100 Iraqis, most of them Chaldean Christians, in Detroit-area raids. Chaldean Christians have considered this move an "utter betrayal" from the Trump administration, since the community mostly backed him in November and arguably gave him the pivotal victory in Michigan.
"The overall sense from the community is utter betrayal and confusion from a man who promised to help the Chaldean people," Wisam Naoum, a finance lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and Chaldean Christian community leader, told PJ Media in an interview Thursday.
The U.S. government has formally declared that the Islamic State (ISIS) is carrying out a genocide against Chaldean Christians and other religious minorities. Before the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraq had over 1.5 million Christians. Recent estimates put the number at 300,000. Sending Chaldean Christians back to Iraq amounts to a death sentence, a stunning betrayal for the very people who helped elect President Donald Trump.
"This is a conservative community that generally votes Republican," Naoum added, noting that Donald Trump won Michigan by roughly 13,000 votes, and that there are over 150,000 Chaldean Christians in the Detroit area. The epicenter of this community, Macomb County, voted Republican for the first time since 2004, and arguably delivered the state to Trump.
"This community, since 2014, has been on the war footing," Naoum added. "We had to fight ISIS, and the community galvanized to do what we could to send resources back to Northern Iraq to fight ISIS. We understood there was a direct failure by the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton to protect this ancient community," which traces its roots all the way back to the ancient Assyrian empire.
"And now, in 2017, after we believe the guy who promises 'I'm going to protect you guys in the homeland,' we find ourselves in a two-front war, fighting ISIS ... and the U.S. administration," Naoum chillingly declared.
The Chaldean Christian emphasized that the "vast majority" of the people detained by ICE were not a present danger and did not come to America illegally. "You can't get over from Iraq by crossing some border; they're not swimming across the Atlantic," he quipped.
In many cases, after immigrants serve their time for minor offenses, when they leave the prison they are forced to "sign away their green cards," Naoum explained.
"Most of them have criminal records that are not important," Richard Kent, an immigration lawyer who has accepted dozens of cases in the past day and who defended the Iraqi veteran Nahidh Shaou (who has received a temporary stay on his deportation), told PJ Media in an interview. Kent briefly mentioned many of the Iraqis he is defending in court.