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Detroit man deported to Iraq by Trump administration dies without insulin

Jimmy Aldaoud's lawyer says he had never been to Iraq and didn't speak Arabic, but was one of 1,000 Iraqis living in US caught up in a deal between Baghdad and Washington
Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, in a photo posted by his lawyer, Edward Bajoka (Facebook)

A man living in Detroit who was deported to Iraq in June died after he was unable to obtain insulin to treat his diabetes, his lawyer and a local congressman have said.

Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, was born in Greece, had never been to Iraq and did not speak Arabic, according to his attorney, Edward Bajoka.

'Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration'

- Edward Bajoka, Jimmy Aldaoud's lawyer

But he was among more than 1,000 Iraqis whom the Trump administration has been trying to deport since 2017 in an apparent deal with the Iraqi government to get the country removed from the travel ban, imposed by Trump a week after he took office.

Many of the Iraqis, like Aldaoud, are Chaldean Catholics whom the American Civil Liberties Union has argued are at high risk of being tortured or killed by the Islamic State militant group. Many had already spent years or decades in the US, lawyers told Politico.

At least seven Iraqis swept up in the situation have recently removed GPS tracking systems, tethered to their ankles by US authorities, ahead of their court hearings on their case to try to evade deportation, their lawyers told The Detroit News.

Bajoka said that his client, who was found dead on Wednesday, was a paranoid schizophrenic whose mental health "was the primary reason for his legal issues that led to his deportation".

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"Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration," Bajoka wrote on Facebook.

Michigan congressman Andy Levin, who represents several Detroit suburbs, said Aldaoud should never have been sent to Iraq and his deportation was "essentially a death sentence".

"It was clear that deporting Jimmy to a country where he had never been, had no identification, had no family, had no knowledge of geography or customs, did not speak the language and ultimately, had no access to medical care, would put his life in extreme danger," Levin said on Twitter.