Iraqi man facing deportation from US seeks refuge

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(14 Jul 2017) An Iraqi man who fled to the US during the Gulf War and trained tens of thousands of American soldiers is facing deportation orders that could lead to his death in his homeland, his supporters say.
Kadhim Al-bumohammed, 64, decided to seek refuge Thursday inside a New Mexico church.
He announced through his attorney that he would defy a federal immigration order to appear for a hearing where he was expected to be detained over two misdemeanor domestic-violence convictions in California.
“After consulting with his family, and with other members of the faith community, (Al-bumohammed) has chosen to seek sanctuary with the faith community”, Rebecca Kitson, his lawyer, said a cheering crowd outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Albuquerque.
Immigration officials typically don’t make deportation arrests in churches and other “sensitive areas” such as schools and churches.
An ICE spokeswoman did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Al-bumohammed, who arrived as a refugee in the early 1990s, worked as a linguist contractor with all four branches of the US military from 2004 to 2009 in Fort Irwin, California.
Al-bumohammed trained tens of thousands of soldiers in his five years and earned more than 15 medals for his service, Kitson said.
He fled following the first US war with Iraq with Saddam Hussein still in power because he feared persecution for assisting US-led coalition forces.
Supporters say the father of four US children will face death if he’s deported because of his connection to the US military.
His case has drawn support from religious leaders, immigrant advocates and US military veterans who have attended rallies and events on his behalf.
His daughter, Courtney Al-bumohammed, 17, said that for now she was happy that her father wouldn’t be detained and leave her family.
Al-bumohammed is one of the 1,400 Iraqis under deportation orders in the US.
Some, like Al-bumohammed, have faced the orders for years because they committed crimes.
His convictions involved his ex-wife and he later won full custody of his children.
A federal judge this week halted the deportation of Iraqi nationals like Al-bumohammed, including many Christians fearing persecution, while courts review the orders to remove them from the US.

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Immigrant Seeks Sanctuary At Philadelphia Church

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(16 Nov 2016) A Mexican immigrant who had been living illegally in Philadelphia has relocated to a city church where he is seeking sanctuary from deportation by US federal authorities.
Juntos, a local immigrant support group, says 40-year-old Javier Flores moved into Arch Street United Methodist Church on Sunday.
The father of three US-born children is eligible for a ‘U-visa’, which the federal government provides to victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse.
Flores’ lawyer says his client was injured during a robbery attempt in 2004 and later helped police identify his assailants.
However, Flores’ supporters say immigration officials have not yet made a determination in his case.
Flores recently spent 16 months at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center in Pike County, Pennsylvania, because he had re-entered the country illegally.
Supporters say he was then released and given 90 days to get his affairs in order before final deportation.
The 90-day deadline was Monday, 14 November, the day after he entered sanctuary.

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“The Fifth Little Girl”: Birmingham Church Bombing Survivor Still Seeks Compensation 50 Years On

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– Fifty years ago this week, four young girls — Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins — were killed when the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The bombing came less than a month after the landmark March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Hundreds gathered in the nation’s capital last week to honor their memory when lawmakers posthumously awarded the girls the Congressional Gold Medal. We’re joined by Addie Mae’s sister, Sarah Collins Rudolph, who is often referred to as the bombing’s “fifth victim.” Just 12 years old when the church was attacked, Collins Rudolph was hit with shards of glass, lost an eye and was hospitalized for months. Today, she continues to live in Birmingham, suffering from the physical, mental and emotional effects of the bombing. She says she has yet to receive any compensation.

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Toledo Catholic church seeks potential victims of priest in sex abuse case

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Rev. James Roth was beloved in the parishes he served. But he held a dark secret, no one knew about. He was sexually abusing a young child.

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