Evangelist Franklin Graham has taken to Facebook to criticize a move by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to round up Iraqi nationals in Michigan.
Graham has previously been a supporter of Trump’s immigration policy and his proposed travel ban, saying back in January, “Some people seem to have forgotten that the priority of the president of the United States is protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans. That’s exactly what President Trump is trying to do. Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step … I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries.”
However, in a new post this week, he addressed a situation in Michigan, where 100 Iraqi nationals have been detained by immigration officials and might be deported to Iraq. Many of them are Christians and Shiite Muslims who face persecution from ISIS.
Today, Graham wrote:
I find it very disturbing what I have read about Chaldean Christians being rounded up by U.S. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for possible deportation. I would encourage the president to have someone investigate these cases thoroughly. I understand a policy of deporting people who are here illegally and have broken the law. I don’t know all of the details, but I would encourage our president to give great consideration to the threat to lives of Christians in countries like Iraq.
His stance on the issue in Michigan mirrors efforts by the ACLU to halt the deportation. They’ve filed a court complaint, attempting to delay the deportations.
In a statement, they wrote: “We are hoping that the courts will recognize the extreme danger that deportation to Iraq would pose for these individuals. Our immigration policy shouldn’t amount to a death sentence for anyone.”
Immigration officials say that everyone involved in the arrests had previously been convicted of crimes.