Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, April 04, 2008

U.S. immigration lawyer advocates for displaced Iraqi Christians

Robert DeKelaita, a U.S. attorney who is also a Christian born in Iraq, has begun to help others gain asylum in the United States, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

DeKelaita, an immigration lawyer, claims that his clients will face persecution if sent back to Iraq, as Christianity is frowned upon in the predominantly Muslim country. The article reports that “Over the last decade, DeKelaita has obtained asylum for hundreds of Iraqi Christians threatened with deportation. He travels the U.S. to counsel distraught, uprooted men and women who have fled religious persecution in Iraq.”

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Christian population has been severely reduced as Muslim extremists have made adherents the target of violence. Christians now worship primarily in remote locations, especially since the recent kidnapping and death of Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho.

“Anguished over mistreatment of Iraqi Christian family members and strangers, DeKelaita long ago decided to dedicate his law practice to defending them,” the article says. “He is among a handful of immigration lawyers nationwide who specialize in representing Iraqi Christians, though he represents other clients.”

As the article notes, “More than 235,000 Iraqi refugees, most in Syria and Jordan, are seeking resettlement.”

For the full article, click here.


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