Pack the Court to Stop the Deportation of Ali Al-Sadoon to Iraq

Tue, Jan 7, 2020 - 8:00am to 4:00pm


Stop Deportations of Ali Al-Sadoon and Wisam Hamana and All Iraqi Refugees; No More Death by Deportation!

“Hampering a deportation” is Self Defense, NOT a crime

Ali Al-Sadoon: Pre-Trial Hearing Thursday, December 19, 10:00am, Rally outside at 9:00am
Jury Trial Tuesday, January 7, 9:00am, Rally outside at 8:00am
Wisam Hamana: Jury Trial Tuesday, February 4, 8:30am, Rally outside at 8:00am
Levin Federal Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd, Detroit MI 48226

On July 25, ICE agents pulled up in mass onto the front lawn of Ali Al-Sadoon, broke down his door, held their guns on his wife and young children and violently dragged him out of his house as his terrified children clung to his leg. Two days earlier ICE had arrested Wisam Hamana. Ali and Wisam are just two of the thousands of Iraqi refugees facing deportation who have been in the fight of their lives for over two years against Trump’s policy now widely referred to as what they truly are: ’death by deportation’ to Iraq. They now stand at the forefront of some of the most important civil rights cases of our century, to be heard by a jury in Detroit in the next few weeks and months.
Ali and Wisam are among the heroes and leaders of the immigrant rights movement who have taken matters into their own hands to save their own lives. In April, this most recent phase of this prolonged struggle was kicked off by another Iraqi refugee, Oliver Awshana, who fought, kicked, screamed as ICE agents tried to force him onto a deportation flight to Iraq. When the pilot saw this, he refused to fly him and ICE was forced to return Oliver to continue to fight his case. BAMN got his case reopened within the week. This was just the beginning of an escalated struggle between ICE and the immigrant rights movement. Earlier in the summer, Ali and Wisam became two of the first Iraqi refugees who refused to comply with ICE’s orders to show up at Detroit Metro airport to be deported via Delta Airlines to their deaths in Iraq. Instead, they cut off their tethers, determined to remain here with their families in the only home they have ever known, and hoping to buy time for something to change to stop this murderous policy. Their example inspired more Iraqi refugees to do the same throughout the summer. Some made it to safety in Canada through the new Underground Railroad.
Seeking to make an example of Ali and Wisam, the federal government has charged them with “hampering a deportation.” They have plead ‘not guilty’ and are awaiting their trials in a federal prison in Milan, Michigan.
This is a groundbreaking case with a lot at stake. Only two percent of federal criminal cases ever go to trial. But Ali and Wisam and their attorney and BAMN leader, Shanta Driver, are taking these cases to trial based on the firm belief that when a jury learns the truth, they will acquit them and take a stand against the murderous attacks against millions of immigrants seeking refuge in America, as did the jury that acquitted activist Scott Warren in November, who was charged with harboring undocumented immigrants at the border in Arizona. To that jury, living in a society where basic human kindness and decency is a crime, was unthinkable.
The outcome of these cases will not only determine the fate of the thousands of Iraqi refugees. Like in last century’s landmark case Brown v. Board, Ali and Wisam are making the fundamental demand to be treated as equal human beings, for equal protection under the law. These cases will decide whether an immigration judge has the right to sentence someone to death by deportation for a past conviction for which they already served their time. The struggles of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement were based on taking direct action to expose the brutality of Jim Crow segregation. Ali and Wisam are standing up against Donald Trump’s brutal racist and deadly immigration policies. They are fighting for every immigrant in the U.S. who lives in fear of what the future holds, everyone suffering the physical and mental torture of indefinite detention, every family living in constant fear of being torn apart.
More than that, mass mobilizations and victories in these cases can shift the balance of power to our side in the fight to stop all Trump’s attacks on immigrants and stop ICE terror in our communities. Trump’s attacks are meant to keep every immigrant in America living in constant fear. Like the DACA youth, Ali and Wisam were brought here by their parents when they were very young and know no other home. This attack on Detroit’s longstanding Iraqi community, the largest Iraqi and Middle-Eastern community in the nation, like all of Trump’s racist attacks, is meant to send a message that no on is safe - not refugees to whom the U.S. promised refuge after completely destroying their countries, not the DACA youth; not TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders who were forced to leave their countries to escape war or natural disasters; not even young children; not even babies. But like the caging of children and babies in concentration camps at the southern border, like the attack on DACA, this attack is a vast overreach that have explosive potential to spark mass rebellion.
The Supreme Court heard the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) case on November 12 and there is no doubt they intend to strike it down. But whether Trump can get away with enforcing the arrests and deportations of DACA youth depends on the strength of our movement. We must take every opportunity to mobilize in great numbers to express our collective power and to make clear: immigrants are welcome here. We will defend our neighbors, classmates, co-workers by any means necessary. The violent arrest of Ali Al-Sadoon was part of an overall escalation of ICE terror against immigrant communities across the country. Our fight to save DACA and to stop these death deportations can focus the movement for Trump’s impeachment on what matters most: his racist attacks on immigrants and refugees, his crimes against humanity at the border, the deaths of adults, children and babies in his concentration camps. The tragic death of Detroit’s own Jimmy Al-Daoud in Iraq this summer, just weeks after his deportation is now added to the human cost of allowing Trump to remain in office.


For the young people who suffered the shock and trauma of I.C.E. agents breaking into our homes with guns to kidnap our loved ones - as if the horrors of violence and war our parents fled from suddenly spilled into our living rooms - we have taken up the challenge of leadership and responsibility for our families and our communities, we have been on the front lines in this struggle and we have become leaders in our own right. Many of us are now veteran leaders of the immigrant rights movement that is the most dynamic important force in the Resistance against Trump. We must not be afraid to express our anger and to assert our leadership through action. We must trust our own political instincts, act on what we know is right, and ignore anyone who tells us we should wait or be polite or leave the political fight to the adults. Our bold, brave and unapologetic leadership is the key to victory. The struggle we have already waged has positioned us to lead the next phase of struggle against Trump and his deportations. In the next few weeks we have a chance to put an end to the death deportations that have kept our families and communities living in fear. We must pull out all the stops to mobilize the full strength of our movement to pack the courtroom to defend the courageous stand of Ali and Wisam in their fight to stop their deportations by any means necessary. JOIN BAMN

231 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226-2702, United States

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