Home/Rod Dreher/Merciless America Killed Jimmy Al-Daoud

Merciless America Killed Jimmy Al-Daoud


Please watch the video. The cruelty of what Donald Trump’s government — that’s your government and my government — did to this man is unspeakable. Politico tells his story. Excerpt:

A 41-year-old Detroit man deported to Iraq in June died Tuesday, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and two people close to the man’s family.

The man, Jimmy Aldaoud, spent most of his life in the U.S., but was swept up in President Donald Trump’s intensified immigration enforcement efforts.

Edward Bajoka, an immigration attorney who described himself as close to Aldaoud’s family, wrote on Facebook that the death appeared to be linked to the man’s inability to obtain insulin in Baghdad to treat his diabetes. Aldaoud was an Iraqi national, but he was born in Greece and came to the U.S. as a young child, his family friend said. He had never lived in Iraq and did not speak Arabic, according to Bajoka.

“Rest In Peace Jimmy,” Bajoka wrote. “Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration.”

The Trump administration has sought to deport more than 1,000 Iraqis with final orders of removal, including Chaldean Catholics in the Detroit metro area, of which Aldaoud was one. Chaldeans are an eastern branch of the Roman Catholic church who trace their roots to ancient Mesopotamia in present-day Iraq, where they are at high risk of being tortured or killed by the the terror group ISIS, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in a related legal case.

What a country we have become. We go in and destroy Iraq for no good reason. Big God-loving country that we are, led by a confessing Evangelical Christian president, we open the door to the genocide of ancient Christian communities there. And now, our big Christian president has seen to it that a sick man was deported back to this country, where he knew nobody, and did not speak the language, and could not get the insulin he needed to survive, because he is guilty of the crime of having come to this country at six months old.

How can it possibly be just to deport people like Jimmy, who came here as children, and who only know this country? It is true that he had a criminal record, and was mentally ill:

According to the ACLU and a POLITICO search of court records, Aldaoud had a criminal conviction for disorderly conduct and served 17 months for a home invasion.

Bajoka, the family friend, said Aldaoud suffered from schizophrenia and other mental health issues.

“His mental health was the primary reason for his legal issues that led to his deportation,” Bajoka wrote on Facebook.

I don’t understand the moral argument for deporting this guy. It was a death sentence, straight up. He did not know the language. He was insulin-dependent. He was a Christian, which in Iraq could easily mean persecution, even murder. Where is the mercy for a troubled man who has lived all but the first six months of his life in America, a country to which his parents brought him without his consent?

This country. This government. The moral stain of what we did to Iraq and its people, and what the Trump administration is doing to people like Jimmy Al-Daoud, will never be removed.

There are Syrian war refugees here, including Christians, in danger of being deported back to Syria. Where are the Christian lawmakers and political operatives on this? Why are we Christian Americans not speaking out in defense of these vulnerable people? I have fairly strong views about immigration, and do not support the open-borders position of most Democrats, but I would support an underground railroad to keep these desperate people safe, and to protect all genuine refugees whose world the US, in its hubris, destroyed. We owe it to them. We honestly do.

What a freaking heartless bunch of SOBs we have become. Sending a poor man like Jimmy Al-Daoud to his agonizing death. From the moment ICE put him on that airplane, he didn’t stand a chance. The government had to know this. It couldn’t not have known this. To know is to be responsible.

UPDATE: Reader Polichinello disagrees:

From the article:

An ICE spokesperson in Detroit said that Aldaoud had “an extensive criminal history“ that involved at least 20 convictions from 1998 to 2017, and had twice been ordered removed from the U.S.

The convictions included assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence, theft of personal property, and breaking and entering, according to ICE. A POLITICO search of court records showed Aldaoud served 17 months for a home invasion in 2013.

We’ve been dealing this guy for twenty years (that we know of!), and he had two orders for final removal. These are not minor crimes, BTW. How long until he killed someone.

Bear in mind, the deportation process must have been in place before Donald Trump came to office, given that he has a couple of final orders for removal. This not just Mean ol’ Mr. Trump. This in compliance with a law signed by Bill Clinton, a law that had been further enforced by Barack Obama. I’m sure there’s a helluva lot more to this story than Politico is letting on.

Yeah, I’d like to cut some breaks every now and again, but if the left is going to promiscuous about letting in everyone with no examination, then dragging out procedures once problems are found, then we will have this situation time and again.

I don’t believe that Al-Daoud was a good man. He plainly was not. What I strongly disagree with is that a guy like that should be handed a death sentence, which is what sending him back to Iraq was. I actually support taking a harder line on immigration, but there has to be some room for common sense, and mercy.

UPDATE.2: Let me emphasize that in light of the new information released since I first posted, I recognize that Jimmy Al-Daoud is a far less sympathetic person than he first appeared. He was under a deportation order from 2005. Nevertheless, I still believe it was unjust to send this mentally ill, insulin-dependent man back to Iraq, which he left aged six months. He lived on the streets as a homeless person. What else was he going to do, given that he didn’t know the language and knew no one there?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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