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Iraqi facing deportation leaves Albuquerque church sanctuary

June 27, 2019
FILE - In this June 26, 2017 file photo, Kadhim Al-bumohammed, an Iraqi refugee living in the U.S., listens to speakers at an Albuquerque, N.M., rally in protest of his possible deportation. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico announced Wednesday, June 26, 2019 that Al-bumohammed, 66, was leaving the sanctuary of an Albuquerque church after a U.S. Department of Justice immigration appeals panel removed his deportation order. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Iraqi man who fled to the U.S. during the Gulf War and trained tens of thousands of American soldiers is no longer seeking sanctuary in an Albuquerque church.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico announced Wednesday that Kadhim Al-bumohammed (kah-DHEEM al-boo-MOH-HAH-med) left the basement of the church after a U.S. Department of Justice immigration appeals panel removed his deportation order.

The ACLU says the ruling allows 66-year-old Albuquerque resident to reapply for permanent residence through his U.S. citizen son and wife.

In July 2017, Al-bumohammed sought sanctuary in an Albuquerque church after defying a federal immigration order to appear for a hearing where he was expected to be detained for deportation. Officials say the deportation order stemmed from a domestic-violence conviction in California.

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