Michigan.You’ve seen the video, or maybe thumbnails of the video.
It features a Michigan man speaking directly to a camera, pleading to come home.
I begged them, I said ‘please, I’ve never seen that country, I’ve never been there.’ They forced me. I’m here now.” Jimmy Al Daoud said in a video that’s gone viral.
From Hazel Park to living on the streets of Baghdad, Al Daoud’s deportation is one of many stories of Christian Iraqis, also known as Chaldeans, being sent from Michigan to the Middle East. Part of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, those removed had criminal records and had served time.
While reports of Al Daoud’s death was what went viral, it’s not the only factor that’s upset opponents of Trump.
“I don’t understand the language – anything. I’m sleeping on the streets. I’m diabetic. I take insulin shots. I’ve been throwing up, throwing up, sleeping in the streets,” said Al Daoud.
Al Daoud didn’t understand the language because he was born in Greece and brought to the U.S. when he was only six months old. He lived his life in Hazel Park.
“Deporting him to Iraq was a death sentence,” said Rep. Andy Levin.
The Michigan Congressman has arranged for Al Daoud’s remains to be flown back to Michigan where they will be laid to rest in metro Detroit. Officials worry similar stories will begin to surface as a result of the deportations.
“Unfortunately, it seems there is not enough coordination with Iraqi authorities about these kind of people deported from America,” said Yonadam Kanna, head of the Rafidain Christian Bloc. “And he’s not the only one. There’s a lot of them”
That means people who may be sick, don’t speak the language, have never visited the country or don’t have citizenship papers for the country they are being flown to.
“He wanted to be heard by the U.S. government so he could return so he said ‘I want to stay in my place, I don’t want any VIP treatment because I am suffering here and I need the government to see that’,” said Martin Dawood, a priest of the East Assyrian Church.
However, that return won’t happen – at least not in the fashion his family would have wanted.
“The president could have stopped this at any time, he’s the one who started it,” said Levin.