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When Deportation Is a Death Sentence

Rod Dreher says what needs to be said about the unjust treatment of Jimmy Al-Daoud, the man deported to Iraq after living his entire life in the United States:

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?

What was done to this man was a grave injustice, and his death is as horrible as it was unnecessary and preventable. I would just add that the Iraqi government did not want to take in deportees such as Mr. Al-Daoud, but they were forced to accept them as part of the price for removing Iraq from the cruel and unnecessary travel ban that originally included their country. The Politicoreport mentioned this:

The government of Iraq in 2017 agreed to accept deportees after previously refusing to cooperate with repatriations. Reuters reported at the time that the concession was part of an agreement to remove Iraq from the list of restricted countries in Trump’s original travel ban.

“We are doing things as required by international law, and sometimes you lose sleep over it,” an Iraqi diplomat told POLITICO about agreements with the U.S.

In other words, Mr. Al-Daoud and others in a similar position would not have been sent back to Iraq had it not been for the travel ban. Our government either traps people in limbo when they are trying to flee war zones or it sends people back to war-torn countries where they don’t belong and won’t be safe. The government showed Mr. Al-Daoud neither mercy nor justice, much as it has unjustly separated families and trapped people in transit as they try to escape from countries that our policies are helping to wreck.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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