A three-judge federal appeals court panel has ruled in favor of the Trump administration in its effort to deport about 100 Iraqi immigrants convicted of crimes years ago.
The panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 Thursday that the lower court that ordered the government to free the Iraqis did not have the jurisdiction to make that decision.
The ruling said deportation orders are up to the attorney general and immigration judges.
The dissenting judge wrote that the lower court did have the proper jurisdiction. She said the Iraqis showed evidence they would be persecuted or tortured if sent back to Iraq and that the administration did not contest that evidence.
The Iraqis still have about six weeks before the appeals court order takes effect.
The 100 Iraqis, who have criminal records or overstayed their visas, had been allowed to live in the United States before the Trump administration began rounding them up for deportation to Iraq.
Eight were sent back before Baghdad said it did not want any more.
The lower court judge ordered the remaining Iraqis freed last month, saying the Trump administration lied when it said the Iraqi government was willing to take back its citizens.