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Mentally Ill Michigan Man with Diabetes Dies After Deportation to Iraq

HeadlineAug 09, 2019

A 41-year-old man from Detroit, Michigan, was found dead in Baghdad on Tuesday, just two months after U.S. authorities deported him to Iraq. Jimmy Aldaoud, an Iraqi national who was brought to the U.S. as an infant, was deported in June as part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. A friend said Aldaoud’s death was likely due to his inability to obtain insulin to treat his diabetes. Aldaoud struggled with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had no family or friends in Iraq and did not speak Arabic. He was born in Greece and came to the U.S. when he was 6 months old. In a video posted to Facebook from Baghdad before his death, Aldaoud said he pleaded with ICE agents not to deport him.

Jimmy Aldaoud: “I begged them. I said, 'Please, I've never seen that country. I’ve never been there.’ However, they forced me. I’m here now. And I don’t understand the language, anything. I’ve been sleeping in the street. I’m diabetic; I take insulin shots. I’ve been throwing up, throwing up, sleeping in the street, trying to find something to eat.”

Aldaoud was from a minority Christian community that has been severely persecuted in Iraq. An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union representing Iraqi immigrants said, “Jimmy’s death has devastated his family and us. We knew he would not survive if deported. What we don’t know is how many more people ICE will send to their deaths.”

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