A Detroit man who was born in Greece died Tuesday after being deported to Iraq, a country he had never been to and where he did not speak the language, making him one of the latest victims of President Donald Trump's war on immigrants.
"Cruelty for cruelty's sake."
Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, likely died from complications due to diabetes, his lawyer Edward Bajoka confirmed in a Facebook post.
Bajoka detailed Aldaoud's background and mental illness, and laid the blame for his death squarely at the feet of the White House:
Jimmy was found dead today in Iraq. The likely cause of death was not being able to get his insulin. He is a diabetic. He was forcefully deported to Iraq a couple of months ago. He was born in Greece and had never been to Iraq. He knew no one there. He did not speak Arabic. He was a member of the Chaldean minority group. He was a paranoid schizophrenic. His mental health was the primary reason for his legal issues that led to his deportation.
Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your blood is on the hands of ICE and this administration.
"The Trump administration deported a man to Iraq who was not born there, never lived there, he came to the US as a child, he spoke no Arabic, and had type 1 diabetes," tweeted journalist Rula Jabreal. "He died."
The Trump admin deported a man to Iraq who was not born there, never lived there, he came to the US as a child, he spoke no Arabic, & had type 1 diabetes.... He died.— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) August 8, 2019
The family wrote: “Your blood is on the hands of this administration.” https://t.co/uF2DpChezZ
In a statement, ACLU lawyer Miriam Aukerman said that Aldaoud's death was preventable and a tragedy for Michigan's Chaldean community.
"Jimmy's death has devastated his family and us," said Aukerman. "We knew he would not survive if deported."
Aukerman added that Trump's deportation policies are likely leading to more deaths that aren't public.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
If you think a better world is possible, support our people-powered media model today
The corporate media puts the interests of the 1% ahead of all of us. That's wrong. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:
"What we don't know is how many more people ICE will send to their deaths," Aukerman said.
Progressives and Democrats reacted with anger and sorrow on social media to the news of Aldaoud's death.
It was "cruelty for cruelty's sake," tweeted Annahar columnist Hisham Melhem.
"As if 41 years of mental illness, marginalization and diabetes are not cruel enough for Jimmy Aldaoud, America, in our name, exiled him to a home that was never a home, to die alone ,destitute and broken," said Melhem. "Not in our name."
"The cruelty of this administration knows no bounds," Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif,), who is running for president, said on Twitter Thursday.
Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid shared an undated video of Aldaoud on an Iraqi street talking about his confusion over the culture, language, and place he lived.
"Immigration agents pulled me over and said I'm going to Iraq," Aldaoud said in the video. "I said, 'I've never been there. I've been in this country my whole life, since pretty much birth.'"
41-year old Jimmy Aldaoud was deported to Iraq by the Trump administration in June after living in the US ever since he was a child.— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) August 8, 2019
He died on the streets of Iraq yesterday.pic.twitter.com/Sip0JrZ4iA
"Each day, we are made lower by this administration's cruelty," tweeted Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.