WASHINGTON - A US judge on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to release more than 100 Iraqis it detained longer than six months while seeking to deport them, saying the government acted "ignobly" and made "demonstrably false" statements in the case.
Judge Mark Goldsmith of the Eastern District of Michigan sharply criticized the government for dragging its feet in following court orders and making untrue statements about Iraqi willingness to repatriate its citizens deported from the United States.
"The government has acted ignobly in this case, by failing to comply with court orders, submitting demonstrably false declarations of Government officials, and otherwise violating its litigation obligations," Goldsmith wrote. "Families have been shattered."
Goldsmith also said he was taking the rare step of imposing sanctions on the government for its behavior, though he said he would formally address that in a separate order.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.