Metro Detroit is home to the largest Chaldean community in the world outside of Iraq.
When immigration officers showed up to round up dozens of Chaldeans earlier this month, it sent shock waves through that community. Families and advocates say people face persecution and even death if the United States deports them back to Iraq. Yesterday, a federal judge in Detroit put a temporary hold on those deportations. But but the legal battle is far from over.
Metro Detroit’s Chaldean community helped deliver Michigan for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. But that support is in jeopardy now. That’s according to state Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Twp.).
Kesto is the first Chaldean elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and a board member of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. He endorsed Trump for President in 2016. But he tells Detroit Today producer Jake Neher his community feels slighted by the administration.
“They’re currently offended because President Trump did say, ‘I’m going to protect Christians and religious minorities,’ and this is kind of a slight to that,” says Kesto.
“As Americans, we say yes, we have laws, we’d like to enforce them, but we won’t take it to the next level of throwing people to their death.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.