DETROIT (WWJ) – An immediate, although limited, victory for over a 100 Chaldean and Iraqi nationals rounded up by ICE agents almost two weeks ago for deportation.

A two-week stay for a group of Iraqi nationals who were arrested nearly two weeks ago and scheduled to be deported.

A six page ruling from federal court Mark Goldsmith issued a stay on any deportations until the courts determine if the federal courts or immigration court should handle the cases of more than 100 Metro Detroit residents.

[READ ORDER HERE]

“The Iraqi Christians can stay in the United States — they are not to be deported back to Iraq, that is the order of the court, but that order is only good for 14 days,” says Langton. “Here’s the issue; whether he has the legal authority to rule on whether the Iraqi Christians should be deported or should not be deported.”

Attorney Nadine Yousif Kalasho is co-counsel in the case on behalf of those detained — calls the ruling a “step in the right direction.”

“A few weeks ago we didn’t know whether people were going to be sent back to Iraq the day after they were picked up,” says Kalasho. “We were very unclear about what would happen to them but now we’re bought them some time and I’m very happy about that.”

Attorneys with the U.S. Justice Department argued Wednesday the detainees must go to immigration court to try to stay in the United States, not U.S. District Court. Attorneys for the Iraqi natives say they could be deported before they can appear in an immigration court.

In all, 114 people across Metro Detroit were arrested by ICE agents back on June 11th and have been detained ever since at facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Louisiana.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for more on this developing story.

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