A federal judge in Detroit Monday halted the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, NBC News reported.
The Iraqis, many of whom are part of their home country's Christian minority, could face "grave harm and possible death" if sent back to Iraq, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled, granting a request for preliminary injunction.
Goldsmith said the government's position to deport them is "inconsistent" with the Constitution.
The government targeted the Iraqis, who have criminal convictions or overstayed their visas, over long-standing deportation orders. More than half had been in the United States for more than a decade because Iraq refused to issue travel documents, the ruling says.