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'Jimmy Was Found Dead Today in Iraq'

Attorney says Jimmy Aldaoud, deported in June, was a diabetic with mental health issues
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 8:33 AM CDT
In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(Newser) – "Jimmy was found dead today in Iraq." That was the Facebook announcement Wednesday from immigration attorney Edward Bajoka, who revealed the fate of friend Jimmy Aldaoud, a Detroit man deported in June amid the Trump administration's immigration roundups. Aldaoud—who Bajoka says was a diabetic suffering from paranoid schizophrenia—was an Iraqi national born in Greece and brought to the US as a child, the attorney tells Politico. Aldaoud had never lived in Iraq, didn't know anyone there, and didn't speak Arabic, and Bajoka says he likely died because he couldn't get his hands on insulin. Per court records and the ACLU, Aldaoud had been convicted of disorderly conduct and spent 17 months in prison for a home invasion—legal issues Bajoka says were brought about by his mental health struggles, and which led to his deportation.

Further putting Aldaoud at risk in Iraq: He was a Chaldean Catholic, a religious minority in Iraq often tortured and killed by ISIS. "We knew he would not survive if deported," an ACLU attorney says in a statement. In a recent Facebook video, Aldaoud himself talked about his perilous situation, noting he was homeless and sleeping on the street, scrounging for food, not able to communicate, and sick from a lack of insulin. "I begged [ICE agents]," he says in the video. "I said, 'Please, I've never seen that country, I've never been there.' However, they forced me." Michigan Rep. Andy Levin reacted to Aldaoud's death on Twitter, per Time. "Jimmy Aldaoud ... should have never been sent to Iraq," Levin tweeted. "Rest In Peace Jimmy," Bajoka added on Facebook. "Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration." (Read more deportation stories.)

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